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Updated: April 1st, 2012 8:57am
Twins set 25-man roster; Brian Dozier 'ready,' but will start at AAA

Twins set 25-man roster; Brian Dozier 'ready,' but will start at AAA

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- With four more cuts on Sunday morning, the Minnesota Twins have mostly finalized a 25-man roster.

The four players reassigned to minor league camp were shortstop Brian Dozier, catcher J.R. Towles, outfielder Brian Dinkelman and right-hander Casey Fien, giving the Twins 27 active players.

But Scott Baker will be placed on the disabled list this week, retroactive to March 27. And Jason Marquis will not make a start in the Twins' first trip through the starting rotation, as he remains in New York tending to his 7-year-old daughter. Marquis could land on MLB's bereavement list for as many as seven days.

Dozier finished the spring hitting .277/.333/.511 with three home runs and mostly smooth, sure-handed defense at shortstop. But because Jamey Caroll and Alexi Casilla are slated to be the team's starting middle infielders, the Twins want Dozier to play every day somewhere.

After being told he would start the season at Triple-A, Dozier was not bitter, but quietly confident.

"Personally, I think I'm ready," Dozier said. "But at the same time it's a business. So I'm just going to go down to triple-A and keep working hard and be prepared when that time comes."

Manager Ron Gardenhire pushed hard behind the scenes at times last season for the Twins to call up Dozier, especially with all of the troubles the team had at shortstop with Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Trevor Plouffe.

In retrospect, Dozier believes that may have been too much to take on.

"Last year was I ready to come up? I don't think I was," Dozier said. "It was the stuff I learned here this year. But absolutely, I think I'm ready. Obviously you keep learning things, but at the same time I believe I'm ready, and that's the big thing that we were talking about in there.

"(The Twins) think I'm ready. But like I said, it's a business, so I just got to keep chugging along in Triple-A and everything will be fine."

With that, here's what the 25-man roster currently looks like:

Pitchers (12)

Starters (4)
RHP Carl Pavano
LHP Francisco Liriano
RHP Nick Blackburn
RHP Liam Hendriks

Relievers (8)
RHP Matt Capps
LHP Glen Perkins
LHP Brian Duensing
LHP Matt Maloney
RHP Anthony Swarzak
RHP Jared Burton*
RHP Alex Burnett
RHP Jeff Gray

Position players (13)

Catchers (2)
Joe Mauer
Ryan Doumit

Infielders (7)
Justin Morneau
Alexi Casilla
Jamey Carroll
Danny Valencia
Chris Parmelee
Sean Burroughs*
Luke Hughes

Outfielders (4)
Denard Span
Josh Willingham
Trevor Plouffe
Ben Revere

* Non-roster invites. Burton and Burroughs will occupy the 40-man roster slots previously held by Joel Zumaya and Terry Doyle.

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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