Position battles are at a minimum for the Minnesota Twins this season. There may be a race for a bench spot, a race for one or two bullpen spots, and a race to see who will be starting in the Opening Day outfield.
That's it, other than a few minor battles, the team has arrived at spring training with a roster close to set.
Nonetheless, there are some players that will attempt to start the season north in Minneapolis, and there are those few battles worth watching.
It's time for Making the Team—a series that will be out once per week until the season, to show the chances of each player making the team.
An up arrow means the player is a leader for the spot or has a good chance, the blue even arrow means they're right in the middle as far as chances, and the down arrow means as of now they'll likely be somewhere other than Minnesota.
Ayala will be participating in the World Baseball Classic, but has made a great first impression and is an early favorite to take one of the bullpen spots.
Humber struggled in his first trip to the mound and will need to pitch well to make the team. One thing that may be in his favor is his lack of options. It's either make the team or hit the road.
Jones faced a tremendous Yankees lineup recently and allowed no runs on two hits. He has a lot to prove, but Bonser's injury might give him a better shot.
Mijares pitched well at the end of last season, he pitched well in winter ball, and now he is pitching well early in spring training. If the team goes with Humber he may head to AAA, but for now he is an early favorite.
It'll be very tough for Delaney to make the team, but he is one of the candidates with two open spots.
Dickey will need to impress with the likes of Humber, Ayala and Mijares likely leading the race, but he has a solid chance.
Henn will more than likely be headed to AAA to start the '09 season, but could get a shot down the road.
Keppel has impressed thus far, and while he will likely be in AAA come April, he has an outside chance to make the roster.
Buscher will no longer platoon at third, but there is a roster spot to be had and Buscher's bat has come alive. Unless someone comes from nowhere, Buscher will likely take one of the possible two bench spots.
Tolbert, if the team goes with an 11-man staff, is the early favorite for the final bench spot.
Machado was picked up in the Rule Five draft a while back, but he missed time with shoulder issues. If those issues are resolved, Machado could beat out Tolbert as he offers a solid glove at second and short.
|The Twins already have five outfielders counting Kubel, so Pridie's chances are slim. Nonetheless a solid spring could sway Gardy and company.|
|Unless Macri can prove to be a backup option at first and hit well this spring, he's likely headed for a start in Rochester.|
|Plouffe will likely go to AAA to get everyday at-bats, but a good impression could get him the call down the road.|
There are several players in camp and on the 40-man roster that very well could make the team. Some include Kevin Mulvey, Brian Duensing, and Anthony Swarzak. But they face heavy odds and will only be added if they truly enter the race.