The Minnesota Twins have a bullpen logjam, and while it seems to be a problem waiting to be solved, it isn’t a bad issue to have. With pitchers returning from injuries this upcoming spring, pitchers being exiled into the bullpen, and even an addition, the bullpen is already full.
There are some locks: Joe Nathan, Matt Guerrier, Jon Rauch, Jose Mijares and Clay Condrey all seem to be locked into the bullpen. Jesse Crain isn’t far behind, but Pat Neshek needs a spot too, and the team also has starters Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and Francisco Liriano who could potential be up for a spot.
With the current roster, one of the three starters, Perkins, Duensing, or Liriano, will be in the rotation. Another is likely to become an extra left-handed option in the ‘pen.
Most seasons, the Twins go with a 12-man pitching staff, and with six spots seemingly locked up, the Twins will need to solve the current logjam. There will be an extra starter to deal with, and Perkins has already been well-connected in trade talks. Meanwhile, the Twins will need to decide if Neshek is ready from day one or if they want him to wait out the cold Minnesota days and begin in sunny Florida.
If the trade rumors involving Perkins are accurate, and the lefty is eventually moved prior to the season, the situation could play itself out. Either Liriano or Duensing, whoever misses out on the fifth spot in the rotation, would enter the bullpen, and Neshek would takeover a spot after some extra innings down south or when needed due to injury.
The Twins don’t have a problem, but more so a minor issue. They have plenty of pitchers to fill out the staff, now they just need to figure out which ones fit the best and figure out what to do with the extras.