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Butera optioned to Minors in latest round of cuts

Butera optioned to Minors in latest round of cuts

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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.

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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.

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