Twins Being Forced into Good Decisions
Image courtesy of © David Berding-USA TODAY SportsYou can probably assume that any team as good as the Twins have been is doing little in the form of bringing in warm bodies. Years past have seen the Twins forced to make roster moves defined by monotony, and promotions have come far more often from necessity than born of merit. Gearing up for the stretch run it seems Derek Falvey has this squad in a place to flip the script.
C.J. Cron and Eddie Rosario have both missed time prior to the All-Star break. As they return to the big-league lineup only Luis Arraez falls into the category of minor league position player. That’s not indicative of talent at all, but reflective of his option status and the ability to be sent down without recourse. It’s in scenarios like that however, that Twins players have positioned management to having to make difficult decisions.
Arraez currently owns a nine-game hitting streak, has posted a .955 OPS through 108 plate appearances, and has developed a newfound level of versatility. He’s playing better than starting second basemen Jonathan Schoop, and the door left open by a starter owning just a .763 OPS (.667 with RISP) is going to make a manager think twice.
Similarly, the bullpen was a group that came into the season with serious question marks. To date they’ve been the fifth best unit in baseball and have stepped up by getting contributing performances from names like Morin, Harper, Duffey and Littell. Here, decisions loom large. Because of the results posted by contributing members there’s going to be some tough conversations. The first shoe to drop was a Mike Morin DFA this afternoon. Despite good surface numbers the secondary stuff had him toward the bottom of the pecking order and a decision was made.
The reality for the Twins is that these difficult decisions come from a place where the organization certainly wants to be. You rarely see a full 25-man roster experience a clean bill of health at the same time. For Minnesota that point could be coming soon and having a level of uncertainty regarding who loses his spot is quite the impressive reality.
On top of health there’s almost no denying that this club is going to make some big-league acquisitions. Whether in the rotation, bullpen or both, there’s going to be at least one arm brought in. Adding to the strong performances already at the disposal of Baldelli and Wes Johnson, the group will be bolstered by a high-level reinforcement. This too will take away the job of a player currently performing above average for a club trending towards 100 victories.
What the Twins will need to convey as this roster transformation takes place is a positive message. No player is going to be in favor of losing his spot but understanding the greater goal and realizing that a new contribution could simply be around the corner is a must. Recent seasons have shown us Minnesota going to the next-man-up option because the initial choice flopped. This time around next-man- up is going to be a player who’s already shown his chops and be expected to come in competitively from the outset.
Good teams are often built from a place of depth. No organization wins a World Series or makes a postseason run relying on just the 25 players starting on the Opening Day roster. The Minnesota Twins are a good team and the front office has developed the depth to make such a run a distinct possibility.
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