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Updated: March 15th, 2012 8:03am
Oliveros, Guerra, Diamond included in first round of Twins cuts

Oliveros, Guerra, Diamond included in first round of Twins cuts

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- A 66-man clubhouse was narrowed by nine on Thursday when the Minnesota Twins announced the first round of spring training cuts.

Pitchers Deolis Guerra, Lester Oliveros, Scott Diamond and Tyler Robertson were optioned to Triple-A camp, along with outfielder Darin Mastroianni. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia was optioned to Single-A camp.

Left-hander Aaron Thompson, infielder Steve Pearce and catcher Danny Rams were all assigned to minor league camp as well.

The Twins now have 57 players in camp, including 27 pitchers (10 non-roster), eight catchers (five non-roster, 13 infielders (six non-roster) and nine outfielders (three non-roster).

Oliveros was considered by some in the organization as a likely candidate to break camp on the 25-man roster. The Twins like his fastball velocity (mid-90's) and were hoping he'd show improved command this season. Oliveros pitched in three Grapefruit League games this month, allowing one earned run on four hits in three innings, striking out four and walking nobody.

"He just has to refine his pitches," general manager Terry Ryan said. "We think he's made-up right, we think he has a good arm. He certainly has a fastball that's intriguing. He can spin the ball a lot, but he's a young kid. He was pushed up here last year because of necessity, and now it's time for him to go down and see if he can dominate Triple-A."

With Oliveros gone, the right-handed bullpen options have been narrowed. The Twins are currently very high on Kyle Waldrop, and it appears as if Anthony Swarzak has the inside track on a bullpen slot.

Righty Matt Capps and lefties Glen Perkins and Brian Duensing are locks.

After that, non-roster righty Jared Burton has impressed so far this spring, and righty Jeff Manship has shown he's healthy.

Right-hander Terry Doyle and non-roster lefty Matt Maloney could be considered for long-relief duties.

The spring highlight for Arcia, 20, was hitting a mammoth, opposite-field home run over a 20-foot fence in a 'B' game against the Pirates last weekend. He is regarded as one of the Twins' top young position-player prospects.

Pearce was off to a slow start at the plate (2-for-15) before suffering a calf injury that will likely sideline him for a week.

Phil Mackey is a columnist for 1500ESPN.com. He co-hosts "Mackey & Judd" from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. weekdays on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.
Email Phil | @PhilMackey | Mackey & Judd
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