|Wilkin Ramirez accepts dugout high-fives after scoring a run|
last week in an exhibition game.
If so, the Twins are opening with 12 pitchers and will carry outfielder Wilkin Ramirez as a bench bat. I'm not sold on Ramirez for that job, but that's a minor issue. The Opening Day roster will not last long, and I fully expect that by the time Anthony Swarzak and/or Scott Diamond are ready to come off the disabled list the Twins will have decided they need a 13th pitcher.
And when they get to that point, whose roster spot will he take? Probably Ramirez's.
Keeping Ramirez will make this an aspirational roster. The Twins want to have a 12-man staff, not a 13-man staff, so they'll open with 12 and hope that the rotation doesn't immediately become a train wreck. If — when — it does, they'll deal with the fallout then.
There's a price to pay for that aspiration. The Twins will have to open a spot on their 40-man roster for Ramirez, a non-roster invitee. The 40 has been full all spring, and the injuries that sidelined Swarzak and Tim Wood — plus the fact that Rule 5 pick Ryan Pressly earned a roster spot — have allowed the Twins to avoid having to cut any of the bullpen use-or-lose guys (the other being Roenicke) for now.
Somebody will have to outrighted, released, traded, sold — removed from the roster — to make room for Ramirez. It probably won't be a significant loss of talent, but the gain — a week or two of Ramirez — seems marginal at best.