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Over the last three seasons, Nelson Cruz has been at the heart of Minnesota's line-up, but it may be time to move in a new direction. So, how do the Twins view the DH spot for 2022?

There is a small chance the Twins will consider a reunion with Nelson Cruz, but a few factors will impact his return. First of all, his performance significantly declined after being traded to the Rays. Secondly, there is a good chance the National League adds the DH for 2022, which opens the possibility of Cruz signing with many other teams. Cruz was outstanding during his time in Minnesota, but it seems likely for the Twins to move on for next season. 

After the Cruz trade, the Twins started using a rotational system at DH for various reasons. "We saw the benefit play through the season, whether it was [Donaldson] -- he was dealing with a couple of things along the way, and if he wasn't feeling the best, he could go DH for a day," Derek Falvey said. "[Jorge] Polanco, right? As well as anybody, maybe go get him a day. Get him off his feet. Maybe not play second today, but go DH. So the benefits are the ability to rotate through."

There are obvious benefits to playing Josh Donaldson at DH. In recent years, Donaldson's health has been a concern, but playing him at DH can give his legs a break while still keeping his bat in the line-up. However, in 2021, Donaldson's OPS was nearly 170 points lower when serving as the team's DH. Donaldson isn't the team's only option at DH, especially if they will use a rotational system. 

Out of players on the Twins, Miguel Sanó best fits the mold of a traditional DH as he is a power-hitting slugger who struggles on the ball's defensive side. Sanó was the second-worst defensive first baseman in 2021, and the Twins have a natural replacement at the position. Alex Kirilloff can see defensive time at first base or in the outfield, with him having a chance to be an above-average defensive first baseman. Throughout his career, Sanó has over 645 plate appearances as a DH, and he has hit .230/.336/.417 (.753). 

Another potential option is to get Mitch Garver more regular at-bats by using him as a DH. Manager Rocco Baldelli likes to give his catchers regular rest, and that's one of the reasons Garver has only started 18 games at DH throughout his career. Falvey knows it is essential to keep Garver's bat in the line-up, and he said that he could get more time at DH and first base next season. 

There are plenty of other options for the Twins at DH. Jorge Polanco is coming off his best big-league season, but he has struggled with ankle issues in the past. Brent Rooker has little left to prove in the minor leagues, and there have been questions about his defensive skills in the past. Luis Arraez slid into the utility role last season, and his bat is tough to keep out of the line-up if he is healthy. 

Because of the players listed above, Minnesota seems destined to use a rotational system at DH next season. There is also a chance the team adds other offensive options in free agency, which would add another bat to the DH equation. 

How do you think the Twins approach the DH spot next season? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 

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Sano could fit into the spot very well. The nice option is that he CAN play in the field at first or third, and should play those positions just to keep in shape. You can also use Garver, since Garver is NOT going to catch more than 100-110 games at best.


Of course, the Twins could pull an Oakland A's and rid themselves of Sano, garver, Arraez, Donaldson, Kepler, Rooker and anyone else capable of being a DH and just GET a DH.

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It was great having Cruz around these last few years, we'll really miss his bat and leadership. But he'll be too expensive for us and I really like the idea of a rotational DH, as was discussed last year. It keeps us more healthy,  flexible and deep. I'm against going out and luring a traditional DH, for 1 thing they'll be too expensive and 2nd it subtracts from the benefits of the rotational DH.

I'm counting on the DH to be adapted in the NL. This will open opportunities to move some of our DH types and add to some packages to get pitching.

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The OP is 100% correct by Cody. The DH spot doesn't have to be ONE GUY. It never has to have been unless you have a special player to fill that spot.

Despite the offense needing some greater consistency,  the power and the hitting seems to be there. Despite some poor seasons and injuries that mucked things up, and the loss of Cruz the last couple of months, the overall run production was good.

I know potential trades could change the complexion of things, but reflect on what is on hand for the time being.

Arraez needs to play daily as a 2B/3B/LF/DH option to set the table.

Donaldson still needs a few half days off.

Sano needs to play at 1B and DH.

AK will play 1B and OF.

Garver needs to be in the lineup as much as possible. That means some DH time, MAYBE some 1B time as well.

Larnach is free to grab the LF job, spending some time in RF as well, if and when he grabs a permanent job.

And then there is Miranda, the hottest prospect we've had in years. He needs to play! And while I wouldn't stick him at DH, he allows others to take a day there.

DH is not an issue. Too many good bats/players to fill the daily 1-9 is a GOOD problem to have. 


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