Butera among Twins' moves as roster takes shape

Butera among Twins' moves as roster takes shape

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' Opening Day roster began to take shape Monday, when the club optioned catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A Rochester, and re-assigned catcher Dan Rohlfing, outfielder Brandon Boggs, and infielders Jeff Clement and Ray Olmedo to Minor League camp.

The moves give the Twins 31 active players in big league camp, but that includes injured pitchers Tim Wood, Samuel Deduno, Rafael Perez and Rich Harden.

Wood, who was diagnosed Sunday with a right rotator cuff strain, is likely to start the year on the 15-day disabled list, while Deduno, who is not on the 40-man roster, will likely start at Triple-A Rochester as he recovers from a groin injury. Perez and Harden, who are both coming off shoulder surgery, are throwing off a mound, but will not be ready in time for the start of the season.

The decision to option Butera to Triple-A also means the Twins will open the season with two catchers on their roster in Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit, which bodes well for non-roster invitee Wilkin Ramirez, who could make the team as a fifth outfielder if the Twins opt to carry 12 pitchers instead of 13.

"We're going to go with two catchers, and that's about as simple as I can put it," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "We're looking for a little more thump off our bench. And unfortunately, [Butera] got into that squeeze. He'll be back."

The Twins essentially have two more roster cuts to make, and it's expected to be from the group of right-hander P.J. Walters, left-handed reliever Tyler Robertson and Ramirez.

But manager Ron Gardenhire told Ramirez on Monday that as of now, he will be on the roster come Opening Day.

"At this point, he's in," Gardenhire said. "Things can change, but at this point, he's in. And we feel good about that. We're excited for him."

Right-handers Cole De Vries and Liam Hendriks are likely to be part of the rotation behind Vance Worley, Mike Pelfrey and Kevin Correia, with left-hander Scott Diamond on the 15-day disabled list. Walters is still in the mix for a spot, but isn't as stretched out as De Vries or Hendriks and isn't on the 40-man roster.

The bullpen is also starting to take shape, as Alex Burnett, Casey Fien, Josh Roenicke and Rule 5 Draft pick Ryan Pressly are expected to join closer Glen Perkins, Jared Burton and Brian Duensing. Robertson also could make the team if the Twins decide to go with 13 pitchers.

Ryan said the Twins would prefer to carry 12 pitchers, but 13 is not out of the question.

"I think everything being equal, we'd like to start at 12," Ryan said. "But everything is not equal."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.