Wetmore: My 25-man roster projection, one month before spring training
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Believe it or not, spring training is right around the corner.
One month from today Twins pitchers and catchers will report to Fort Myers, Fla., which many baseball fans consider the unofficial beginning of the baseball season and the end of winter.
With that in mind, here's my current prediction for what the 25-man roster would look like if the Twins broke camp today.
I readily acknowledge that the Twins' version will look different than mine at the end of March. At least one starting pitcher will get hurt (statistically speaking) and other factors like trades or free agent signings could further sculpt the 40-man roster.
Teams also have a penchant for keeping lesser talented players around because they are out of minor league options. I haven't made that distinction here. A player like Vance Worley, for example, could make the team by showing a sign of life in spring training because he can't easily be stashed in the minors. That's understood, but it didn't shape my roster construction. Chris Parmelee may be the most notable position player "snub" in that regard. The Twins probably will value him more than I do and that's fine; this is just one writer's projection.
From my purview, the most important thing that will happen for the Twins in 2014 is that it will bring closter 2015, when Minnesota could sniff competitiveness. For that reason, I've included Alex Presley and Aaron Hicks, even though their skill sets might be redundant. When top prospect Byron Buxton eventually arrives, I think he'll push Hicks to right, so I've just pre-empted that eventual move.
Enough setup, here's the roster:
Twins projected 25-man roster
Catcher: Josmil Pinto
First baseman: Joe Mauer
Second baseman: Brian Dozier
Third baseman: Trevor Plouffe
Shortstop: Pedro Florimon
Left field: Oswaldo Arcia
Center field: Alex Presley
Right field: Aaron Hicks
Designated hitter: Josh Willingham
*Kubel's inclusion on the active roster would require another player be taken off the 40-man roster. The Twins have a handful of players on the 40-man roster they could cut without blinking, so pick one.
I've stated my case. Now you're tasked with poking holes in this projection. What changes would you make and more importantly why would you make them?