Butera optioned to Minors in latest round of cuts

Butera optioned to Minors in latest round of cuts

Butera optioned to Minors in latest round of cuts
FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins made another round of roster moves Saturday morning, optioning catcher Drew Butera to Triple-A Rochester, sending right-hander Kyle Waldrop to the 15-day disabled list and reassigning infielder Michael Hollimon to Minor League camp.

The big news was the decision to send Butera to Triple-A, which means the Twins will keep just two catchers on their roster -- Joe Mauer and Ryan Doumit.

Non-roster invite J.R. Towles is still on the roster, but Butera told reporters that general manager Terry Ryan said the plan is to go with just two catchers.

Butera, 28, saw plenty of action with the Twins over the past two seasons as a backup catcher, but he struggled to hit big league pitching, batting just .178 with 21 extra-base hits in 376 at-bats. He'll split time at catcher with Rene Rivera in Rochester.

"We need more offense out of Butera," Ryan said. "He has to earn at-bats. You know Rivera's down there; he's no slouch. We make guys earn their keep, that's all. He's very gifted. He's got a powerful arm, he works well with pitchers, but we've got to get some offense. We had trouble scoring last year; we can't do that again. We need to score runs."

Butera's demotion bodes well for non-roster invite Sean Burroughs, who is now likely to make the club as a backup infielder.

Waldrop, meanwhile, was placed on the DL, retroactive to Monday, with a right elbow strain. Eligible to return on April 10, Waldrop was a likely candidate to make the club before the injury, as he posted a 1.50 ERA in six Grapefruit League outings.

Hollimon had a nice spring at the plate, hitting .360 in 25 at-bats, but he also made some mistakes in the field. He'll add depth at Triple-A, where he could start at third base.

The Twins now have 31 active players in camp, including 15 pitchers (two non-roster), three catchers (one non-roster), eight infielders (two non-roster) and five outfielders (one non-roster).

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.