Random observations after spending a weekend distracted among any number of things, with baseball on the radio in the background every now and again:
*I’m liking the shakeout of the pitching situation. I suspect that we’re looking at a season-starting rotation that includes Johan, Boof and Ramon Ortiz for sure. A healthy Matt Garza and Carlos Silva are probably in the lead for the Nos. 4 and 5 spots, with No. 5 getting some long-relief action during the first couple weeks of the season. Glen Perkins, Kevin Slowey, Scott Baker and (maybe) Sidney Ponson start out at Rochester.
*Perkins did a nice job Sunday in his three innings against a solid Toronto lineup. The top six Blue Jays batters included 4 .300 hitters from last season and 2 (Frank Thomas and Troy Glaus) 35-plus homer guys. An unearned run, 2 hits and 2 strikeouts in 3 innings looked pretty good. The young lefty seems to be the first alternate if there’s a problem with any of the 5 guys mentioned above. I also liked the Dennys Reyes inning and I’m wondering what Gardenhire is thinking about the need for 2 bullpen lefties. Nice knowing you, Randy Choate.
*The no hits-in-4-innings showing against studly Roy Halladay would be troublesome, except that the only semblance of regular-season talent in Sunday’s batting order was Mauer-Cuddyer-Kubel at 3-4-5. It was nice to see the Twins knock around Toronto’s closer, BJ Ryan, in the 5th. In case you’re wondering, Ryan, Joe Nathan and other closers pitch earlier innings during the spring so they can face real batters instead of the guys who are lucky to get a major-league swing at the tail end of a game.
*Jason Kubel should be making people happy with his spring. The .409 average so far includes some balls that were seriously mashed, and he seemed to have the resolve to be thought of as a contemporary of Mauer and Morneau, rather than a supplementary talent, according to LaVelle’s Sunday story.
*An alternate thought on the backup infielder situation: If Jason Bartlett is a 150-start talent, maybe Gardy can afford to keep Luis Rodriguez, who provides a bit more bat off the bench, with the idea that L-Roddy and Jeff Cirillo are the backups at third with Punto moving to short when Bartlett needs a rest. L-Roddy’s had some good pinch-hit at-bats over the last couple of years. Keep in mind, though that even though he’s listed as a switch-hitter, all of his significant at-bats come from the left. Just keyboarding out loud on that one.
*My 25-man roster, as of right now: P–Johan, Boof, Ortiz, Garza, Silva, Nathan, Rincon, Neshek, Crain, Reyes, Durbin, Guerrier. C–Mauer, Redmond. IF–Morneau, Castillo, Bartlett, Punto, Cirillo*, Rodriguez. OF–Torri, Cuddyer, Kubel*, White*, Tyner. DL–Ford, Machado. (*-Potential DHs)