Twins announce non-roster invites

Twins announce non-roster invites

The Twins announced their 2009 Spring Training non-roster invites on Wednesday, and included among the 15 invitees are some pitchers who could be options to help solidify the club's bullpen.

A total of seven pitchers were invited by the Twins to big league camp this spring: left-handers Mike Gosling, Sean Henn and Ben Julianel and right-handers Rob Delaney, R.A. Dickey, Bobby Keppel and Kevin Mulvey.

Dickey, who the Twins signed to a Minor League deal in late December, is expected to give the Twins another possible long-relief/spot-starter option. A knuckleballer, Dickey went 5-8 with a 5.21 ERA in 32 appearances (14 starts) for the Mariners last season. He was better in a relief role, going 2-0 with a 2.00 ERA in those 18 relief outings. The 34-year-old right-hander had previously signed with the Twins last winter before being selected by the Mariners in the December 2007 Rule 5 Draft.

Henn, 27, is also another pitcher that could make a strong push for a spot in the bullpen. A power arm who was a little erratic at times during his career in the Yankees' organization, Henn was signed to a Minor League deal by the Twins in December. Last season, Henn was with the Padres and posted a 7.71 ERA in four appearances for San Diego.

The Twins will also get a glimpse this spring at some pitchers who are considered the next wave of pitching prospects in the Minor Leagues -- including Delaney, Julianel and Mulvey. Last season, Delaney was bestowed the honor of being named the best reliever in the Minor Leagues after he posted a combined 1.23 ERA in 46 games at Class A Advanced Fort Myers and Double-A New Britain. Julianel is coming off an '08 season in which he recorded 26 saves at New Britain, while Mulvey went 7-9 with a 3.77 ERA.

Three infielders were included in the non-roster invites: Alejandro Machado, Brock Peterson and Danny Valencia.

Valencia will be a player the Twins coaches will keep an eye on this spring as he's considered to be an up-and-coming third base prospect in the organization. It's unlikely that he will compete for the starting third base job this spring.

The Twins also extended Spring Training invites to three outfielders -- Dustin Martin, Luis Matos and David Winfree -- and two catchers, Jeff Christy and Danny Lehmann.

The Twins will kick off Spring Training in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 15, when pitchers and catchers are scheduled to report. The first workout will take place on Feb. 16, with the first full-squad workout occurring on Feb. 21.

Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.