UPDATE: After final cuts were made today, what you see below is now officially the opening day roster.

 The Twins now have 31 players remaining in spring training camp so they will only need to make 6 more cuts before opening day. When it comes to the starting rotation and as I wrote about earlier, Scott Baker has already been placed on the DL and will miss his first start while Marquis could start the year on the bereavement list dealing with family issues. Liam Hendriks is in line to take Baker’s spot in the rotation until he returns. The Twins will not need a fifth starter until around April 15th so that leaves the Twins with 4 starters. The four starters on the roster on opening day will be Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Liam Hendriks and Nick Blackburn in that order.

 Because they will start the season with only 4 starters, that leaves room for 8 relievers on the roster to begin the season. Right-hander Matt Capps will be the closer with lefty Glen Perkins as the main setup man. The long reliever is expected to be lefty Matt Maloney. Middle relievers will include right-handers Anthony Swarzak, Jeff Gray, Jared Burton and Alex Burnett as well as left-handed Brian Duensing. Kyle Waldrop was in line to make the bullpen as well but is dealing with an injury that will keep him from making the roster to start the season. When Baker and Marquis return, Hendriks and likely Alex Burnett will be optioned to Triple-A Rochester.

 When it comes to positions players there was speculation that the Twins could open the season with three catchers. Now that Joe Mauer has showed he is fully healthy and hitting the ball like he used to they decided to send Drew Butera back to Triple-A and start the season with only two catchers. Mauer will be the starting catcher backed up by Ryan Doumit with Doumit also playing RF and Mauer 1B at times. The health of Justin Morneau is also a key to who makes the opening day roster. Morneau will start the year as primarily the DH for the Twins which opens the door for Chris Parmelee to start the year as the first baseman. Alexi Casilla 2B and Jamey Carroll SS are expected to be the opening day middle infield but Casilla has been battling injuries so that could complicate things. Luke Hughes will be the primary backup in the infield with Sean Burroughs also making the roster primarily at 3B. Danny Valencia will be at his usual 3B position with his new number 22. The outfield will consist of Josh Willingham LF, Denard Span CF and a platoon of Trevor Plouffe, Ben Revere and Ryan Doumit in RF. The entire projected opening day 25-man roster can be seen below.

Starting Rotation

  1. Carl Pavano
  2. Francisco Liriano
  3. Liam Hendriks
  4. Nick Blackburn

Bullpen

  • LONG RP: Matt Maloney -L
  • MRP: Anthony Swarzak -R
  • MRP: Jeff Gray -R
  • MRP: Alex Burnett -R
  • MRP: Brian Duensing -L
  • MRP: Jared Burton -R
  • SU: Glen Perkins -L
  • CP: Matt Capps -R

Infielders

  • Joe Mauer C/1B
  • Ryan Doumit C/1B/RF
  • Justin Morneau 1B
  • Chris Parmelee 1B/RF
  • Alexi Casilla – 2B/SS
  • Jamey Carroll – SS/2B
  • Danny Valencia – 3B
  • Sean Burroughs – 3B
  • Luke Hughes – IF

Outfielders

  • Denard Span – CF
  • Josh Willingham – LF
  • Trevor Plouffe – OF
  • Ben Revere – OF

Opening Day Starting Line-up

  1. Denard Span – CF
  2. Jamey Carroll – SS
  3. Joe Mauer – C
  4. Justin Morneau – DH
  5. Josh Willingham – LF
  6. Ryan Doumit – RF
  7. Danny Valencia – 3B
  8. Chris Parmelee – 1B
  9. Alexi Casilla – 2B

Opening Day Bench

  • Trevor Plouffe – OF
  • Luke Hughes – IF
  • Ben Revere – OF
  • Sean Burroughs – 3B
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