03/30/07 12:59 AM ET
Catcher Heintz earns Twins' final spot
Durbin lost on waivers to Arizona; Rabe re-assigned
By Kelly Thesier / MLB.com
Ryan said the team explored trade possibilities, but nothing panned out."I was hoping he'd pitch well enough to make the club," Ryan said. "We exhausted the entire process here. We went right up until the other day and I thought, at that time, 'We'll search around a little bit.' Now it's a clean slate for J.D. The Diamondbacks had interest, and it's his home team, his home city. This might be a good situation for him." Durbin, 25, had been touted as one of the Twins' top pitching prospects as recently as a few years ago. But his big-league career was limited to just four games with the Twins in 2004, when he went 0-1 with a 7.36 ERA.
The injury kept Durbin off the mound until after the start of camp this spring. He never really emerged with the same type of stuff he had before."He started off slow because of the injury coming back from that, and when he was out there he never really got comfortable," Gardenhire said. "Obviously, we were going to have to send him down. ... You'd love to keep him in the organization, let him get back to where he was at last year. Obviously, somebody else wanted a piece of him, too, so it's a good situation [for him]. He's got a chance to go to the big leagues, and hopefully, he'll stay with them." As for the rest of the Minnesota roster, there really weren't many surprises. Aside from Heintz, the team ended up with essentially the same players expected to break camp with the club when the team arrived to camp in February. The Twins set their rotation Wednesday when they optioned Matt Garza to Rochester, making way for a rotation featuring Johan Santana, Boof Bonser, Ramon Ortiz, Sidney Ponson and Carlos Silva. With only six pitchers in the bullpen, the team now goes with a bench that includes backup catcher Mike Redmond, utility outfielder Jason Tyner, utility infielders Luis Rodriguez and Jeff Cirillo and Heintz. The one area seemingly not addressed this spring was the need for a true backup shortstop for Jason Bartlett. Rodriguez and Cirillo are options, although Rodriguez lacks range and Cirillo lacks experience at the position. Gardenhire has also indicated he could use Punto as an option at short if necessary. The skipper also knows infielder Alexi Casilla is just a phone call away in Rochester if the team needs a more permanent replacement. "It's not the situation that you wanted going in, but it's OK," Gardenhire said. "I trust those guys. They can go out there for a day or two, and I always have my young man down in Triple-A that I know can come up and play if something were to happen to Barty."
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.