My Opening Day Lineup
by, 03-14-2013 at 04:05 PM (619 Views)
Opening Day is a few weeks away, and Twins fans still don't have an exact idea of what the lineup will look like when the Twins take the field.
Many people have been discussing their Opening Day roster projections. I wanted to put this on the record so that I could say "I told you so".
CF. Aaron Hicks
2B. Brian Dozier
C. Joe Mauer
LF. Josh Willingham
1B. Justin Morneau
DH. Ryan Doumit
3B. Trevor Plouffe
RF. Chris Parmelee
SS. Eduardo Escobar
Opening Day Starting Pitcher
First off, I went under the assumption that the Twins will go with a four man rotation until April 10th when they will need the fifth starter. At that point Diamond may be ready, and if not I would expect Hendricks to get the nod. Starting the season with a four man rotation leaves an extra roster spot. I dedicated the extra spot to the bullpen, where Hernandez, Wood, and Roenicke would all get a bit of a look before waiver and option decisions have to be made. Anthony Swarzack is also likely to be ready after not too long, and he will presumably take one of those bullpen spots in the long relief role.
I see the eventual rotation and bullpen looking like this:
I am optimistic that Gardy can trust Escobar's ability to catch a few innings in case of an emergency situation. If Escobar is on the roster, it is unlikely that Florimon also goes north with the club. That is unless Jamey Carrol is on the outside-looking-in, which seems improbable. I see Escobar getting the starting position and Carrol in the utility role. This leaves an extra spot on the bench for some pinch hitting power.
Yes, I have Jim Thome listed even though he isn't even currently employed by the Twins. I added Thome to the list mostly because of how much I would like to see it happen, and I realise that it's a long shot. Left handed pop and excitement for the fans would be nice, and without Butera on the bench it makes the luxury of a pinch hit homerun threat more feasible. I also put Colabello on the list as a right handed pinch hitting option. It would be such a fun story, and the quality of his recent production might make it much less of a long shot than it seemed coming into camp.
I guess my only other real sleeper pick is Hernandez in the bullpen. Another lefty would be convenient, and I can't think of anybody who has outright won the open spot.
This of course implies that Hicks winning the center field job is not a sleeper pick, which I believe is starting to become consensus among the fans and the coaching staff.
This projection is a combination of what I think we will see, and what I want to see. I would maybe try Mauer batting second and would probably not bring Burnett north, but Gardy seems set on them being where they are.
What do you think of my roster? Anybody care to go on the record with their projection?