FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Much has changed with the roster since the Twins arrived for Spring Training, as they've since traded for right-hander Jake Odorizzi, signed first baseman/designated hitter Logan Morrison to a one-year deal with an option and inked right-hander Lance Lynn to a one-year pact.That means the initial
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Much has changed with the roster since the Twins arrived for Spring Training, as they've since traded for right-hander Jake Odorizzi, signed first baseman/designated hitter Logan Morrison to a one-year deal with an option and inked right-hander Lance Lynn to a one-year pact.
That means the initial roster projections by MLB.com in early February have changed, so here's a new look at how the roster could look on Opening Day now that it's exactly two weeks away.
Catcher (2): Jason Castro, Mitch Garver
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First base (2) Joe Mauer, Morrison
What changed:Kennys Vargas was initially slated to be the backup first baseman to Mauer and also serve as a part-time designated hitter, but he became the odd man after the addition of Morrison. Vargas was designated for assignment on Friday, but the Twins are hopeful he will clear waivers so he can head to Triple-A Rochester.
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Second base (1): James Dozier
Third base (1): Miguel Sano
Shortstop (1): Eduardo Escobar
What changed: Jorge Polanco was suspended 80 games without pay by Major League Baseball after testing positive for Stanozolol, a performance-enhancing substance.
Outfield (4): Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton, Max Kepler, Robbie Grossman
What changed: The prediction remains the same, but Grossman's chance of making the roster took a hit with the signing of Morrison, who will be the club's regular designated hitter. The Twins could instead go with the speedy Zack Granite as their fourth outfielder over Grossman because he can play all three outfield positions. Grossman, though, is out of options, while Granite can be sent to Triple-A Rochester, which could play a factor in the decision.
Utility (2): Ehire Adrianza, Erick Aybar
What changed: Aybar will likely make the team as a backup infielder following Polanco's suspension.
Starting pitchers (4): Jose Berrios, Lynn, Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson
What changed: Berrios and Gibson were part of the initial projection, along with left-hander Adalberto Mejia and right-handers Phil Hughes and Tyler Duffey. But the additions of Odorizzi and Lynn changed that, as Mejia was optioned to Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday. Hughes remains a candidate to start, but the Twins are expected to open the season with a four-man rotation because of off-days. Duffey's chances were hurt by the roster moves this spring, but he could still make the roster as a long reliever.
Bullpen (8): Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Zach Duke, Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers, Thomas Pressly, Hughes, Tyler Kinley
What changed: The Twins are expected to start with eight relievers instead of seven, which could open a spot for a long reliever like Hughes, as well as one more spot. Rodney, Reed, Duke, Hildenberger, Rogers and Pressly were all projected to be a part of the bullpen, and that hasn't changed despite rough springs from Hildenberger and Rogers, who were two of the club's best relievers last season.
Kinley has a real shot at making the roster because of his stuff, as his fastball has hit as high as 99 mph this spring to go along with a 92-mph slider. As a Rule 5 Draft selection, Kinley has to stay on the roster all season or be offered back to the Marlins. With the Twins looking to contend this season, they could decide to trade for Kinley so he's not subjected to the Rule 5 limitations. Alan Busenitz was initially predicted to the make the roster, but he has struggled this spring.
Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.