Decision Time for the Minnesota Twins

AlexAnalyst IApril 1, 2009

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - APRIL 14:  Catcher Joe Mauer #7 of the Minnesota Twins talks with pitcher Sidney Ponson #19 against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on April 14, 2007 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Scott A. Schneider/Getty Images)

One thing about the Minnesota Twins' roster is known.

On Monday, the team decided on who will serve as the backup catcher.

The Twins chose to go with the more experienced, better hitting, switch-hitter, Jose Morales, over the defensive savvy and younger, Drew Butera.

While the move came as somewhat of a surprise after indications pointed to Butera and his defense, it makes sense.

Not only has Morales played at the major league level to a small extent, he's also played at Triple-A, something Butera has not yet accomplished.

Going with Morales ensures the team of a player who has experience, and a player who should be able to handle the pressure that comes with playing in the bigs.

Aside from the experience, there is one thing that makes Morales and Butera two different players: Morales is a hitter and Butera is a defensive catcher.

It seemed like the Twins favored defense for their backup catcher role just last week, but, ultimately they went with the offense to help make up for Mauer's absence from the lineup. 

The fact that the team went with an offensive player could mean they expect their backup catcher to get a fair amount of playing time before Mauer has the chance to return.

With Redmond's age, there is a chance that Morales could play as much as three times per week.

While the backup catcher mystery has been solved, two more questions remain: The final bench spot and two bullpen spots for three players. 

After it seemed as though the Twins would go with 11 itchers when Crede was signed to allow for both Tolbert and Buscher to make the team, that no longer seems likely.

Now the team favors 12 pitchers, a decision will send one of the infielders to Triple-A.

The race will come down to the wire on Saturday, the Twins have two other decisions that should be taken care of before then.

Three pitchers, R.A. Dickey, Phillip Humber and Brian Duensing, are vying for two open bullpen spots.

If the Twins decide to add an extra lefty, Duensing will make the trip north.

If Duensing does make the team, the final spot will come down to a race between Dickey and Humber for the long relief role.

Humber seems to have the upper hand if such an instance were to occur mainly because he's out of options, and if he isn't in Minnesota, he'll be with one of the other 29 teams in the league.

It's tough to tell what will happen, but time is winding down, and the Twins will be forced to make some tough decisions in the coming days.