Image courtesy of Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY SportsStarting Pitcher Effect
Ervin Santana is going to start the year on the disabled list but there was still other arms vying for a role in the rotation. Jose Berrios and Kyle Gibson seemed like locks and both players should still be in the rotation on Opening Day. Beyond those two players, the rest of the rotation has been impacted by the additions of Jake Odorizzi and Lance Lynn.
Adalberto Mejia was penciled into the back-end of the rotation as spring training began. However, he now seems destined for Rochester to join a stacked rotation with many of the team’s top pitching prospects. Phil Hughes also had a chance at a rotation role. With the current roster, it seems like he will be shifted to the bullpen. Anibal Sanchez saw his Twins tenure come to an end on Sunday even if it was a long-shot for him to make the rotation.
Pre Off-Season Rotation: Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, Kyle Gibson, Adalberto Mejia, Phil Hughes
Current Rotation: Ervin Santana, Jose Berrios, Lance Lynn, Jake Odorizzi, Kyle Gibson
Relief Pitcher Effect
Minnesota’s bullpen had some bright spots last season but there were still some question marks as the offseason began. There was very little late-inning experience and it was hard to know who would be called upon for some of the biggest outs in the game. Adding pieces like Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed and Zach Duke might have shifted the bullpen into one of the team’s strengths.
Some less experienced players are going to find themselves in the minors to start the year. Tyler Kinely was selected in the Rule 5 Draft but the bullpen is already crowded. The Twins could work out a deal with Miami to keep him in the minors. Hughes is going to have to take the place of another arm. Names like Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss and Gabriel Moya are going to have to continue to prove themselves in the minors as they wait for their opportunity.
Pre Off-Season Bullpen: Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Taylor Rogers, Tyler Duffey, Alan Busenitz, John Curtiss, Jake Reed
Current Bullpen: Fernando Rodney, Addison Reed, Trevor Hildenberger, Ryan Pressly, Zack Duke, Taylor Rogers, Phil Hughes
Designated Hitter Effect
Even after having offseason surgery, Miguel Sano will continue to get time on the defensive side of the ball. There may be a time in his career where he is relegated to a designated hitter role. Over the last two seasons, Joe Mauer has averaged 23 starts at DH. Other names like Kennys Vargas and Robbie Grossman entered camp with a chance to earn some time as the designated hitter. Logan Morrison’s signing changed some of those plans.
Kennys Vargas seems like the odd-man out in the new DH equation. His lack of defensive position makes him more replaceable than someone like Robbie Grossman. Minnesota can put Grossman on the bench and have him serve in a fourth outfielder role. Vargas seems redundant with more proven hitters like Morrison, Sano and Mauer ahead of him on the DH depth chart.
Pre Off-Season DH Options: Robbie Grossman, Kennys Vargas, Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer
Current DH Options: Logan Morrison, Robbie Grossman, Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer
Who has been impacted the most by the moves of this off-season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.
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