Twins cleaning up 2008 roster

Twins cleaning up 2008 roster

FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins' Opening Day roster picture got quite a bit clearer on Monday morning.

The club optioned four players to Triple-A Rochester: outfielders Denard Span and Jason Pridie, infielder Brian Buscher and right-hander Philip Humber.

Right-hander Casey Daigle was also reassigned to Minor League camp.

With Span and Pridie out of the mix, Carlos Gomez is now set to be the Twins' starting center fielder. Gomez has hit .286 in 15 games this spring with six RBIs and 10 stolen bases.

Buscher had been in competition for the final spot on the 25-man roster, a utility role that infielder Matt Tolbert now appears to have locked up.

The Twins now have 29 players remaining in camp, including 16 position players. Catchers Drew Butera and Eli Whiteside will not be on the final roster and neither will outfielder Jon Knott.

So the team's 13 position players will be as follows: catchers Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond, infielders Adam Everett, Brendan Harris, Mike Lamb, Justin Morneau, Nick Punto and Tolbert, outfielders Michael Cuddyer, Gomez, Jason Kubel, Craig Monroe and Delmon Young.

As for the club's pitching staff, 13 arms remain in camp and the plan is to take 12 of them to Minnesota. The decision on which pitcher will be left out won't be made until later in the week, as it will ride on whether the Twins decide to have Francisco Liriano start the year in the Minors. Liriano is set to make his final spring start on Friday.

Right-hander Nick Blackburn looks to be the front-runner to take the opening should Liriano not break camp with the team. Right-hander Brian Bass, who is out of options, also appears to have solidified his spot on the roster -- likely in a long-relief role.

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