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MLB Minnesota Twins

Five Minnesota Twins Who Won’t Make it Through 2014 Spring Training

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Five Minnesota Twins Who Will Struggle to Make the Opening Day Roster

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After being a perennial playoff contender from 2002-2010, the Minnesota Twins have lost close to 300 games over the last three seasons. A couple of significant moves were made this offseason to address the team’s dire need for starting pitching, with Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes being signed to multi-year deals in free agency. Mike Pelfrey was also re-signed, and being another year removed from Tommy John surgery can only be a good thing for him.

The Twins could still address some areas of need between now and the start of spring training, and adding some depth and competition at certain spots is still a distinct possibility if general manager Terry Ryan thinks someone is a good fit. Some specific rumors have attached them to a few position players and pitchers, but it’s unclear if any more notable moves will be made.

Another big decision was made by the Twins’ organization this offseason, with All-Star catcher Joe Mauer moving to first base full-time after he missed the end of last season with a concussion. Kurt Suzuki was signed to help fill the void behind the plate, but there is sure to be some domino effect on others in terms of roles and fluctuating odds to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster during the spring with Mauer’s move to a new position.

With warmer weather sure to be coming around the country (hopefully) and baseball season nearing, here are five Minnesota Twins I think will struggle to make it through spring training this year.

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5. Vance Worley

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Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Worley started on Opening Day for the Twins last year, but he struggled (1-5 with a 7.21 ERA in 10 starts), got demoted to Triple-A and did not pitch after mid-July due to an elbow injury. He will compete for the fifth spot in Minnesota’s starting rotation during the spring, but Worley will have a lot to prove after what can only be called a disastrous 2013 season.

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4. Darin Mastroianni

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Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Mastroianni played just 30 games for the Twins last season after a early season ankle injury required surgery, and he was outrighted to Triple-A Rochester in December. He may get a chance to compete with Aaron Hicks and Alex Presley for the starting job in center field, but Mastroianni looks like nothing more than organizational depth right now.

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3. Scott Diamond

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Diamond was the ace of the Twins’ starting rotation in 2012 (12-9 with a 3.54 ERA), but he struggled last year (6-13, 5.43 ERA) and will now be among those battling for one spot in the starting rotation with the moves the team made to fortify that area.

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2. Chris Colabello

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Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Colabello is a nice story, having spent a lot of time in independent leagues prior to making his major league debut last season at age 29. But his numbers with the Twins (.194, seven home runs and 17 RBI over 181 plate appearances) were not good enough to guarantee him a spot on the Opening Day roster heading into spring training, and he has an uphill climb for sure.

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1. Chris Parmelee

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Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Parmelee has failed to assert himself on the major league level over the last couple seasons, and he may be down to his last shot with the Twins this spring. He could ultimately earn a role as a left-handed bench bat with the ability to play both first base and right field, but the addition of Jason Kubel clouds Parmelee’s future and he’ll need a strong spring to come north with the team for Opening Day.