Thursday, January 20, 2011

Who's Left Out There?: Part II

With the signing of Carl Pavano yesterday evening the most confusing thing left for Twins fans is the 2011 bullpen. There are three groups of players that will be part of the final bullpen picture coming out of Spring Training: The Closers, The Familiars, and The Unknowns.

In my post yesterday I chronicled the first two groups, The Closers and The Familiars, that are more familiar to casual Twins fans. Today it is the second part in a series to answer the question, "Who's Left Out There?"
2011 Projected Twins Bullpen
Many of these players that fit into the category of "unknown" have been invited to Spring Training and the rest are included on the 40-man roster.  There are still some strange names and faces that Twins fans will have to get accustomed to before the start of the 2011 season.

The Unknowns: Yormando Bazardo, Rob Delaney, Scott Diamond, Phil Dumatrait, Carlos Gutierrez, Jim Hoey, Chuck James, Jeff Manship, Anthony Slama

Left Handers
Scott Diamond- was selected by the Twins in the Rule 5 Draft out the Atlanta Braves organization. If they want to keep his rights he is going to have to stay on the 25-man roster. The Twins will need more than one lefty in the pen so that could put Diamond at an advantage. He had been groomed to be a starter but transitioned to the bullpen for all of last year. Season Stats (2010: AAA)- ERA: 3.36, IP: 56.1, K: 33, WHIP: 1.207

Phil Dumatrait- last played for the Tigers AAA affiliate in 2010. In 2004 Dumatrait underwent Tommy John surgery and has been working his way back from that over the last few seasons.  This has led him to multiple stops with different organizations. He has an invite to Spring Training but with all the other options for the 'pen, I expect to see him at AAA. Season Stats (2010: AAA)- ERA: 3.16, IP: 42.2, K: 17, WHIP: 1.359

Chuck James- has major league experience with the Atlanta Braves but spent last year between AA and AAA.  He was listed highly on the Baseball America prospect list (#98) before the 2006 season but that talent hasn't come to fruition. He is a very interesting player, but Rochester is his most likely destination. Season Stats (2010: AA&AAA)- ERA: 2.32, IP: 66.1, K: 69, WHIP: 0.939

Right Handers
Yorman Bazardo- transfers to the Twins from the Houston organization. He started five games last season but was mostly used in a relief role. Another new face to the Twins organization but was most likely brought in to help the Red Wings improve this year. Season Stats (2010: AAA)- ERA: 3.87, IP: 88.1, K: 58, WHIP: 1.392

Rob Delaney- made one appearance with the Twins last year.  It was the second to last game of the season and the Twins had a big lead. I was at the game and did fine for it being his big league debut (1 IP, 1 ER, Kinsler HR).  Another year of helping the Twins AAA affiliate is in the works. Season Stats (2010: AAA)- ERA: 4.72, IP: 80.0, K: 92, WHIP: 1.312

Carlos Gutierrez- a wild-card when it comes to figuring out the bullpen.  Baseball America projects him to be the Twins closer of the future. This former 1st rounder will get a taste of the big league camp this year. If his stuff is outstanding, could he break camp with the team and come north? Season Stats (2010: AA&AAA)- ERA: 4.50, IP: 126.0, K: 87, WHIP: 1.532

Jim Hoey- and fellow minor league pitcher Brett Jacobson came to the Twins as part of the JJ Hardy trade. Hoey had arthroscopic shoulder surgery in 2008. The 2010 season saw Hoey make his way back through the Orioles organization. Season Stats (2010: AA&AAA)- ERA: 3.25, IP: 52.2, K: 70, WHIP: 1.348

Jeff Manship- over the last two seasons he has pitched in double-digit games for the Twins and that includes starting six games.  His major league numbers aren't outstanding (5.49 ERA, 1.549 WHIP) but he has had some tough roles to fill over the last two seasons.  It will be interesting to see what he can do if he is given a more regular role on the team. Season Stats (2010: AAA)- ERA: 5.13, IP: 98.1, K: 83, WHIP: 1.586

Anthony Slama- it was exciting to have "Slama Time" in the Twin Cities during the Twins first season at Target Field. His unique look was appealing to fans during his time with the big league club.  If he has more time at the big league level, I can see this 39th round draft pick continuing to develop into a fan favorite. Season Stats (2010: AAA)- ERA: 2.20, IP: 65.1, K: 74, WHIP: 1.117

There are seven open spots in the bullpen so my projected Twins bullpen looks like this:
1.  Joe Nathan
2.  Matt Capps
3.  Jose Mijares
4.  Pat Neshek
5.  Scott Diamond
6.  Anthony Slama
7.  Alex Burnett

There definitely could be some changes to my projected bullpen as the Spring Training schedule plays out. The major story at Spring Training is going to be the bullpen.  Nathan's health, the closer role, and who gets the final spots in the bullpen will be story lines to follow.

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