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Updated: March 17th, 2014 11:46am
With 15 cuts left, who has the best chance of opening with the Twins?

With 15 cuts left, who has the best chance of opening with the Twins?

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by Derek Wetmore
1500ESPN.com

With two weeks to go before the start of the Twins' season, this 25-man roster projection remains intact.

The Twins on Sunday announced the second wave of cuts this spring. They optioned three players to Triple-A Rochester and reassigned five others to minor league camp.

The most notable cuts, in my opinion, are Darin Mastroianni and Danny Santana (who will play at Rochester).

The upshot is that 40 players now remain in camp, with 15 cuts remaining before Opening Day. Among those 40 players in Major League camp are nine non-roster players. If you missed it, here's a link to the first wave of cuts, which included Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer and Miguel Sano.

Here is the second wave of cuts:

Optioned to Triple-A Rochester:

LHP Kris Johnson

C Eric Fryer

IF Danny Santana

--

Reassigned to minor league camp:
LHP Sean Gilmartin

OF Darin Mastroianni

Jermaine Mitchell

IF James Beresford

Brandon Waring

 --

Here's who is left:

20 pitchers (four non-roster)

4 catchers (one non-roster

9 infielders (three non-roster)

7 outfielders (two non-roster)

--

Pitchers:

Vance Worley

Michael Tonkin

Caleb Thielbar

Anthony Swarzak

Ryan Pressly

Glen Perkins

Mike Pelfrey

Ricky Nolasco

Phil Hughes

Kyle Gibson

Casey Fien

Brian Duensing

Scott Diamond

Samuel Deduno

Kevin Correia

Jared Burton

(Non-rosters)

Matt Hoffman

Aaron Thompson

Deolis Guerra

Matt Guerrier

--

Catchers:

Kurt Suzuki

Josmil Pinto

Chris Hermann

(Non-roster)

Dan Rohlfing

--

Infielders:

Trevor Plouffe

Joe Mauer

Pedro Florimon

Eduardo Escobar

Brian Dozier

Chris Colabello

(Non-rosters)

Jason Bartlett

Doug Bernier

Deibinson Romero

--

Outfielders:

Josh Willingham

Alex Presley

Chris Parmelee

Aaron Hicks

Oswaldo Arcia

(Non-rosters)

Jason Kubel

Wilkin Ramirez

--

The only non-roster players I see as having a shot to crack the Opening Day 25-man roster are Jason Kubel and Matt Guerrier. That totals eight cuts alone from players not on the roster, leaving seven to go from players on the 40-man roster, even if Kubel and Guerrier make the club. Neither is a slam-dunk.

If you asked me to get rid of seven more, I'd cut Parmelee, Colabello, Worley, Pressly, Gibson, Diamond and Guerrier. Another option would be to have a guy like Tonkin, whom I think belongs on the club, to start the year in the minors and carry an 11-man pitching staff until a fifth starter is needed. That would allow the Twins to carry an extra position player, like Chris Hermann, on the bench. It postpones the decision of the final man to cut.

Even with a built-in day in case of a rainout (or snowout), the Twins would need a fifth starter (Deduno?) on April 6 in Cleveland. That roster handiwork wouldn't postpone a decision for long.

This is from the perspective of someone who watches and studies baseball, but only spent one week in Fort Myers for spring training. I tend not to put a lot of stock in spring performances. But new information must be weighed to refine our old ideas. 

Derek Wetmore is the senior editor for 1500ESPN.com. His previous stops include MLB.com and the Minnesota Daily.
Email Derek | @DerekWetmore
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