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Twins 2023 Roster Projection


CoryMoen

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What does signing Carlos Correa do to the Twins roster in 2023 and going forward? It's safe to say he improves the roster, as Carlos Correa is projected for 4.9 WAR according to his Steamer Projection for 2023. In comparison, Kyle Farmer is projected for 0.9 WAR by the same projection. This shows that Correa is a significant upgrade over not having him as the starting Shortstop in 2023. 

Now that we know that, what does the rest of the roster construction look like if Opening Day were tomorrow? Is there anyone that should make it that won't? Or that possibly, doesn't deserve it that will make it? Let us take a look... 

Catcher: 

Christian Vazquez

Ryan Jeffers

Vazquez will likely play 60-65% of the games behind the plate, and Jeffers will get most of his games versus lefties and the occasional righty. This catching duo should be a pretty solid group, as both catchers are good at framing, and Vazquez, in particular, is good at throwing out potential base stealers. 

Others on the 40 man roster: None - There are multiple catchers who will start the year at AAA who have major league experiences, including Chance Cisco and Tony Wolters. 

Infield: 

Alex Kirilloff - I am assuming Kirilloff will play first base due to the crowded corner OF mix. 

Jorge Polanco 

Carlos Correa 

Jose Miranda 

Luis Arraez 

Kyle Farmer

I think this could end up being a very good infield. Correa is a proven commodity, as is Polanco at this point. The front office believes Miranda can play 3B every day, and there is no reason to believe that he cannot handle that right now. Kirilloff, when healthy, has shown that he has a world of potential. It's not just about putting it together. Arraez will play some 1B, as well as likely be the primary DH. Kyle Farmer has proven he can play multiple positions, and he may even possibly fill in versus left-handed pitchers in the corner outfield as well. 

Others on the 40 man roster: Royce Lewis, Edouard Julien

Lewis is recovering from his second ACL surgery, but has shown flashes. He has potential to fill-in at 3B or in the outfield when he comes back. He will likely get at bats in AAA and if his recovery goes as planned, he will be on the roster come mid-summer. Julien is getting hype, much like Jose Miranda was a year ago. There are questions about his defensive home, but if he continues to hit, he will be in the lineup. 

Outfield: 

Joey Gallo

Byron Buxton 

Max Kepler 

Nick Gordon 

Gilberto Celestino

The starting OF as of right now from left to right, is likely Gallo, Buxton, and Kepler. Will Kepler get traded? Time will tell, but since he is still on the roster, he is the starting RF. The big question with this group is will Gallo and Kepler bounce back from disappointing years with the shift being banned, or will they continue to slide and turn into shells of their former selves. I have faith in both, but also understand that trading Kepler could be advantageous if it ends up improving the roster. Nick Gordon can also fill in at 2B and versatility is nice when injuries are inevitable over a 162 game season.

I struggled with the last outfield spot, but it made more sense to add Celestino over the names below because he is a viable CF option if/when Buxton has to take a day or two off. Celestino showed struggles, but has also shown flashes of being productive. I'm on the fence on if I believe he can get past the proverbial "4th OF" tag, but even if he doesn't, he is a guy who can play all three OF positions, which is always helpful, and depth is important. 

Others on the 40 man roster: Trevor Larnach, Matt Wallner

Both have shown potential, but will likely start the year at AAA getting at bats. Larnach was injured last year so getting regular at bats will be a good thing for his development. I have more faith in Wallner as a long-term piece at this point between these two, but he will need to cut down on strikeouts if he wants to be anything more than an average corner OF. He has a cannon of an arm and he has shown that off, going back to his college days. (Note: I worked at Southern Miss when he was a student there and he was a ton of fun to watch in college). 

Starting Rotation: 

Sonny Gray

Tyler Mahle

Joe Ryan

Bailey Ober 

Kenta Maeda 

I have decided to go with a six man rotation because multiple of these players have dealt with injuries, most prominently Kenta Maeda. I saw an idea recently of piggybacking Bailey Ober and Kenta Maeda to begin the season because they are both coming off injuries and will likely need a little extra time to get up to strength. I am very excited for Tyler Mahle to be healthy, because I believe he can be a front-line starter. Now don't come after me, I don't think he's a true ace (there are only a handful in the game, in my opinion) but I think he is a good enough SP to be in a playoff rotation, which is something that is important for a team with playoff aspirations. Sonny Gray dealt with some injuries but was pretty productive and will hopefully have another great year. Joe Ryan took a big step forward and looks to have cemented himself in the rotation for the next handful of years going forward as a mid-rotation option. 

Bullpen: 

Jhoan Duran

Jorge Lopez

Griffin Jax

Caleb Thielbar 

Emilio Pagan

Jovani Moran 

Jorge Alcala 

Trevor Megill

I think this group has a ton of potential and the bullpen is in a much better place than they were one year ago. Duran proved he is a high-octane arm that can be a fireman, closer, or multi-inning weapon out of the bullpen. I think using him in the higher leverage situations is the smartest move, not necessarily in a traditional closer role. This bullpen has a decently high floor and with bounce backs from both Jorge Lopez and Emilio Pagan and Jorge Alcala being productive, this bullpen has the potential to be lethal and a strength of this roster. The possibility of adding one more bullpen arm is exciting because it makes the group potentially go from a good bullpen to a great one.

Others on the 40 man roster: A.J. Alexy, Jordan Balazovic, Matt Canterino, Brent Headrick, Ronny Henriquez, Cole Sands, Louie Varland, Josh Winder, and Simeon Woods-Richardson

This group has some depth, which is not something you have been able to say in the past. Alexy, Henriquz, Sands, Varland, Winder, and Woods-Richardson all have major league experience, at varying levels. I think the key to this group is that the depth can turn into a strength. I would guess all of the names on this list will pitch at some point in the big leagues this next year, so having depth and guys with varying levels of potential is exciting as a Twins fan. 

 

How many wins do you think this roster can get?  Let me know in the comments below!

My prediction would be 85-90 wins, with the potential of more. 

 

 

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One BIG problem with the pen. Who is capable of going multiple innings? IMO they need 2-3 long guys the way they handle their starters!

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5 hours ago, Karbo said:

One BIG problem with the pen. Who is capable of going multiple innings? IMO they need 2-3 long guys the way they handle their starters!

Henriquez would be a good addition for going long. Jax should be pushed for multi-inning stints. The Twins could also press Winder into such a role. We will see seomthing pan out in spring training, as the Twins also have to settle on rotation staffs for St. Paul and Wichita.

 

Remember, Maeda could also start the season as a bullpen arm to build up to pitching five innings come mid-season.

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9 hours ago, Rosterman said:

Henriquez would be a good addition for going long. Jax should be pushed for multi-inning stints. The Twins could also press Winder into such a role. We will see seomthing pan out in spring training, as the Twins also have to settle on rotation staffs for St. Paul and Wichita.

 

Remember, Maeda could also start the season as a bullpen arm to build up to pitching five innings come mid-season.

There’s a mention of a Six Man rotation but I only see the 5 guys everyone thinks will start…..,,at any rate I suggest the following edits.

Acquire a starter………move Maeda to Pen & rid ourselves of Pagan, hopefully via trade. PLEASE sign Fulmer from FA market. Option Alcala to St. Paul. More stable Pen with experience! Ability to bridge from middle of 5th with 5-8 outs with Maeda!!

Infield is cool with the 6 you’ve penciled in - Garlick displaces Celestino & Kepler is traded opening a spot for Larnach.

Catchers are good.

New guy - Gray - Mahle - Ryan - Ober

Duran - Maeda - Jax - Megill - Fulmer - Moran - Thielbar - López 

Garlick - Gordon - Buxton - Gallo - Larnach

Farmer - CC - Miranda - Polanco - Kiriloff - Arraez 

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16 hours ago, Karbo said:

One BIG problem with the pen. Who is capable of going multiple innings? IMO they need 2-3 long guys the way they handle their starters!

I hate to say it, but his name rhymes with Bemilio Bagán

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How about subbing an actual hitter for Celestino? Garlick for Celestino (Gordon is Buxton’s backup). Garlick can be added easily with 60-day IL assignments for Paddack and Lewis. 

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On 1/19/2023 at 10:44 PM, JD-TWINS said:

There’s a mention of a Six Man rotation but I only see the 5 guys everyone thinks will start…..,,at any rate I suggest the following edits.

Acquire a starter………move Maeda to Pen & rid ourselves of Pagan, hopefully via trade. PLEASE sign Fulmer from FA market. Option Alcala to St. Paul. More stable Pen with experience! Ability to bridge from middle of 5th with 5-8 outs with Maeda!!

Infield is cool with the 6 you’ve penciled in - Garlick displaces Celestino & Kepler is traded opening a spot for Larnach.

Catchers are good.

New guy - Gray - Mahle - Ryan - Ober

Duran - Maeda - Jax - Megill - Fulmer - Moran - Thielbar - López 

Garlick - Gordon - Buxton - Gallo - Larnach

Farmer - CC - Miranda - Polanco - Kiriloff - Arraez 

5 DAYS LATER - Changes!:

Same 2 catchers

P. Lopez - Mahle - Ryan - Gray - Ober

Maeda - Duran - Jax - Megill - Moran - Thielbar - J. Lopez - FA signing (Fulmer - Chafin - etc.)………probably Pagán though

Miranda - CC - Polanco - Kirilof - Farmer

Gordon - Buxton - Gallo - Larnach - Taylor - Kepler

Balance of KEY guys on the 40 man:

Winder - Alcala - Varland - SWR - Henriquez Sands - Balazovic - Martin - Julien - Lewis - Lee 

With better starting pitching - similar offense - better Pen. If we don’t blow saves like ‘22…….rate of 27 I believe. If we only blow 12 saves, it’s gong to happen some, that’s an improvement of 15 games to 93 W’s in ‘23.

Realistic?

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