Every contending team looks to make improvements throughout the season. Sometimes those changes come from within the farm system and other times the front office must supplement the roster with talent from other organizations. With nearly a fourth of the schedule complete, here are the three biggest weaknesses on the Twins roster.
No team has gotten less production out of first base than the Minnesota Twins. According to fWAR, Minnesota’s -1.5 WAR at first base is baseball’s lowest total. Miguel Sanó’s well-documented poor start played a role in the team’s lack of production. However, Alex Kirilloff’s wrist injury and poor production are also tied to the position. Luis Arraez continues to get opportunities at first, but he doesn’t fit the mold of prototypical first basemen.
Improvement Options: Earlier in the week, MLB.com claimed the Twins need to find a player similar to Daniel Vogelbach, because power-hitting first basemen/DH are easy to find. For the Twins, it seems most likely for the team to continue to use Arraez at the position until a better option presents itself.
Unlike first base, left field hasn’t been a black hole in the Twins lineup, but there is room for improvement. Alex Kirilloff was the Opening Day starter, but he was demoted earlier this week to try and rediscover his swing at Triple-A. Trevor Larnach was swinging the bat well before a groin strain put him on the injured list. Nick Gordon has played the most games in left field this season, but his value is in being used in a utility role.
Improvement Options: Larnach should return from injury in the coming days, and the team hopes he can pick up where he left off at the plate. However, Royce Lewis is back at Triple-A to work on other defensive positions and left field might be his best shot at a big-league role.
Minnesota’s front office bet on the organization’s young pitchers this winter and so far, that decision has worked out in the team’s favor. Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober have proven they are more than capable of holding down a big-league role. The Twins pitching staff ranks in the top-10 in multiple statistical categories, but it is still early in the season. Unfortunately, injuries and illness have hit the starting pitcher group with Dylan Bundy, Bailey Ober, and Chris Paddock all missing time. It doesn’t seem as though Minnesota’s current pitching core is built for October success.
Improvement Options: Even with strong early-season numbers, the Twins are going to have to make some additions to the big-league roster. At least four veteran starting pitchers will be available before the trade deadline, but there are questions surrounding all of these players. Jordan Balazovic, one of Minnesota’s top pitching prospects, is in the Triple-A rotation, so he can be a second-half call-up.
There are plenty of games left to be played before the trade deadline, but more flaws tend to present themselves throughout the season. Which of these weaknesses do you feel most needs to be addressed? Are there other internal options to fix the team’s flaws? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.