Reading the proposed lineup I realize how weak it really is. While Dozier takes his normal 1/2 year off at the plate we have only Sano as a real threat in that lineup or the one we are using. Why are they pitching to him at all. Your lineup is as good as any, but in fact until Dozier gets to his good half of the year we have a lot of interchangeable parts which is not necessarily good.
I read recently that the team is projected to have regression because we have actually scored much less than the opposition despite our current record. The pitching is holding up as well as it can with the current roster, but the bats are not. Yes I advocate for Vargas for a few weeks because we need some pop (Come on Dozier - pretend its the half way mark) and Kepler, Buxton, Rosario are not filling their role or expectations, Castro and Giminez cannot hit, Polanco is below expectations at the bat and the guy on first wields a mighty glove.
So how does the team get an infusion of run production? Hope that last nights homer starts Vargas, get Grossman and Vargas alternating at DH and 1B for the majority of the next month or two. Beyond that I can not conceive of more answers on the horizon.
I see some of this but I think this is pretty pessimistic.
- Mauer is heating back up and won't be as bad as he was to start the season.
- Ditto with Buxton with the addition that he's poised to take off if he can put it all together.
- Dozier is streaky and has the potential to take it up a notch.
- Grossman just grinds out good at bats. Don't want him to change a thing and want him to play OF against all LH pitching.
- Vargas has too small of a sample for people to give up on him - especially when he's being criticized for a "slow start" that sees him with a .771 OPS.
- Polanco has hit at every single level (including the bigs) and is a guy you can reasonably expect to trend up.
- Kepler has been a little up and down but overall has a 110 OPS+. That's pretty great for a 24 year old in his second big league season. His walk rates portend great things for his future.
- Rosario has been taking strides in his game and while he isn't a middle of the lineup bat, he still has upside.
- Catcher. I can't say much here. Gimenez will hit better than he has but Castro likely won't. There's at least some pop from Castro. They should be batting 9th, that does bug me.
The Twins lineup isn't something ferocious like the Red Sox middle of the order or the Cubs unrelenting scariness. But it is a solid lineup that can hurt you in a lot of different ways (tons of speed and a lot of guys with some pop). It's also super young so development is on the Twins' side and it isn't like everyone's hitting. We can expect more from Dozier, Mauer, Buxton, Polanco and perhaps Rosario/catcher.