Updated: March 23rd, 2011 3:11pm
Third round of Twins cuts provides more clarity in bullpen battle

Third round of Twins cuts provides more clarity in bullpen battle

by Phil Mackey
1500ESPN.com
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Minnesota Twins announced a third round of cuts on Wednesday, and the result provides more clarity in the bullpen battle.

Catcher Steve Holm and outfielder Jeff Bailey were both reassigned to minor-league camp on Wednesday, and following Monday's game at Hammond Stadium, left-hander Phil Dumatrait and catcher Danny Lehmann will be reassigned to minor-league camp.

Right-handers Carlos Gutierrez and Kyle Waldrop, left-hander Chuck James, catcher Rene Rivera, infielder Chase Lambin and outfielder Brian Dinkelman will travel to Atlanta for the team's two exhibition games with the Braves on March 29 and 30 before being reassigned to minor-league camp as well.

That leaves left-handers Dusty Hughes, Scott Diamond and Glen Perkins, and right-handers Jeff Manship and Jim Hoey to fight for final three bullpen slots.

Right-hander Anthony Slama has been sidelined for weeks with a sore elbow.

Manager Ron Gardenhire and pitching coach Rick Anderson have both been impressed by Waldrop and Gutierrez throughout spring training, and although neither pitcher is currently on the 40-man roster, the Twins do have an open spot with Pat Neshek's departure.

It's possible one or the other, or both, could receive a call-up to the big-league squad at some point early in the season.

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.
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