"Likely," Hinch said of a seven-man bullpen. "There’s always a chance that (changes) depending on how the schedule plays out, and there’s always a debate on how many pitchers to carry during interleague. Now interleague is pretty much year round, so I mean, in a perfect world with our roster, it’s likely to carry a seven-man ‘pen. If we feel like we need an extra pitcher or injury happens, there’s different ways to shape our roster, then we will, but likely 12."
The two open spots will likely be filled by a left-handed pitcher and a long reliever. The competition for the second lefty in the pen likely comes down to Kevin Chapman and nonroster invitees Joe Thatcher and Darin Downs. The long relief role has a broader list of candidates, including Alex White and Asher Wojciechowski, who will prepare both as starters and relievers.
"We’re going to stretch out a lot of our guys," Hinch said. "Some of them are because they’re competing in that fifth starter spot, some of them are bullpen guys. Will Harris is going to throw multiple innings. Obviously (Sam) Deduno has been a starter in the past, he’s in a competition for the fifth man spot. Wojo, White, those guys are going to need to, going to plan for the season on both fronts, whether it’s a starter or reliever. But we’re preaching multiple innings. It’s important if you have a seven-man bullpen that you have a couple of guys that can get four, five, six outs if needed and be a bridge to the rest of the bullpen."Analysis:
"I'm really pleased with Wojciechowski, coming off his health issues and everything," pitching coach Brent Strom said. "He's throwing the ball extremely well.
"Wojo was a right-handed pitcher throwing from the third-base side of the rubber, slightly across body, which created a tough angle. We moved him to the far first-base side of the rubber, freed his arm up."
Strom advised Wojciechowski's new position this spring after the 26-year-old was slowed down by a lat injury in 2014. Wojciechowski is on the 40-man active roster and is considered an outside candidate for the rotation. He's competing against Dan Straily and Roberto Hernandez for a spot on the opening day roster.Analysis:
The Twins have yet to decide if he'll make an appearance in Wednesday's exhibition game against the University of Minnesota.Analysis:
Santana, who suffered a torn Achilles in June, was shut down in January after having some shoulder discomfort while pitching in the Venezuelan winter league.Analysis:
Manager John Farrell seemed to think Workman would be more than adequate in the role. "His mentality is one that embraces those higher leverage type of innings," Farrell said. "In one-inning stints, his stuff plays up a little bit more with power, a little bit more swing-and-miss ability with his fastball."
Workman seems open to the change. "If John tells me that’s where I’m going to fit in, that’s where I’ll fit in," he said.
The 26-year-old Workman posted a 5.17 ERA over 87 innings last year.Analysis:
"The guy has too good of stuff not to be more consistent," Ryan said. "I don’t think it’s 'if' he makes another jump. He’s going to make a jump. It’s a matter of how high."
Gibson showed flashes of promise in 2014. While his overall numbers were just average, Gibson was solid during the first half of the year. He posted a 3.92 ERA over 101 innings to start the year, but struggled with a 5.17 ERA in the second half. Gibson said the reason for his success last year had to do with execution.
"The reason for the jump was my focus on executing pitches," Gibson said. "In 2013 I got caught up in all the information and the scouting reports instead of realizing this is the pitch I need to execute so let’s execute it."
Gibson said he's hoping to increase his strikeout rate this season, but wants to make sure he can still retain his strong ground ball rate. The 27-year-old posted a 4.47 ERA over 179 1/3 innings last season.Analysis:
The Rangers will take on the Royals during the contest. It's unclear how long either player will throw during the outing. Both players are expected to open the year in the team's rotation.Analysis:
Peacock had offseason hip surgery, but has been able to take part in bullpen sessions. He's still a bit behind the other pitchers in camp, but the team is aiming for mid-March for his first batting practice. Manager A.J. Hinch said Peacock will need to throw a few of those before he's ready for game action.
The 27-year-old Peacock posted a 4.72 ERA over 131 2/3 innings last season.Analysis: