Final Opening Day Projection

We are now less than a week from opening day in Baltimore. It is time to give my final projection for what that opening day roster will be like. The last few days have brought some clarification to the picture, so there is less guesswork than earlier.

Scott Baker has been placed on the DL retroactive to March 27 so he will be eligible to return on April 12. That opens up a spot in the rotation, but the Twins have decided to go with a four-man rotation for the first couple of weeks because they have an off day that will allow the four to stay on a normal five-day schedule. Jason Marquis has been away from the team on a family leave for a while and is not expected to be ready to pitch as anticipated, so Liam Hendriks is slated to take his spot and pitch the third game of the Baltimore series. Indications now are the Twins will carry eight relievers rather than their normal seven until Baker returns.

One of the mild surprises today was the optioning of Drew Butera to AAA to open the season. This action almost guarantees that Chris Parmelee will be on the roster and most likely will play first base while Justin Morneau serves as DH. Ryan Doumit will be the backup catcher and probably will play some in right field to keep his bat in the lineup.

If my final projection is accurate, one pitcher in particular will have made the roster without really earning it by his performance in spring training this year. Alex Burnett has not pitched well, but with both Baker and Marquis not available, he will have slipped in under the radar.

Everyday lineup:

  • C Joe Mauer
  • 1B Chris Parmelee
  • 2B Alexi Casilla
  • SS Jamey Carroll
  • 3B Danny Valencia
  • LF Josh Willingham
  • CF Denard Span
  • RF Ryan Doumit
  • DH Justin Morneau

Bench:

  • INF/OF Trevor Plouffe
  • OF Ben Revere
  • INF Luke Hughes
  • INF Sean Burroughs

Pitchers:

  • S Carl Pavano
  • S Francisco Liriano
  • S Nick Blackburn
  • S Liam Hendriks
  • Long Relief Anthony Swarzak
  • Closer Matt Capps
  • LHP Brian Duensing
  • LHP Glen Perkins
  • LHP Matt Maloney
  • RHP Jared Burton
  • RHP Jeff Gray
  • RHP Alex Burnett
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