Twins Cut Butera, Four Others; Ramirez Likely Makes Roster

Mar 4, 2013; Jupiter, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Wilkin Ramirez (22) at bat against the St. Louis Cardinals in the fifth inning during a spring training game at Roger Dean Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins announced this morning that they have jettisoned catchers Drew Butera and Dan Rohlfing, infielders Jeff Clement and Ray Olmedo, and outfielder Brandon Boggs.

Unless the Twins opt to take 13 pitchers north April 1, outfielder Wilkin Ramirez has apparently made the roster as a bench bat. After a strong 2012 in Rochester, Ramirez came into camp presumably battling for the fourth outfielder role, but his chances seemed slim considering he had never played center field in the Twins organization. However, Ramirez posted an outstanding hitting line this spring of .425/.465/.600 and forced his way into the bench discussion. With Aaron Hicks and Darin Mastroianni both on the roster, Ramirez will be able to comfortably play in the outfield corners.

Butera’s demotion suggests that the Twins are comfortable with Eduardo Escobar as the team’s emergency catcher. It has been repeatedly reported that Escobar can play behind the plate in a pinch, but according to my research he has never played the position in a professional game at any level.

Butera in a known defensive stud behind the dish, and put up very respectable offensive numbers this spring with the Twins and team Italy in the World Baseball Classic.

Boggs came into camp as a strong contender for the fourth outfielder spot, but that possibility ended when the team announced that Hicks will be the team’s starting center fielder and Mastroianni the backup.

Olmedo had a strong spring offensively and defensively, and has put himself into the discussion as a backup if one of the team’s infielders struggles during the season.

Clement struggled at the plate this month, and his late departure could mean that the Twins were toying with the idea of using him as a bench bat and emergency catcher.

Rohlfing had a very solid spring, but was never really in the conversation to head north with the Twins come April 1.

 

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Topics: Drew Butera, Minnesota Twins, Wilkin Ramirez

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