Mar 31, 2011; Los Angeles, CA, USA; General view of the a baseball and the bat and the glove of San Francisco Giants outfielder Aubrey Huff (not pictured) on the field before the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee/Image of Sport-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota Twins Opening Day Starting Lineup: Paula's Predictions

Pitchers and catchers have reported. Full squad workouts have begun. Speculation is running wild after every virtually meaningless offhand comment. It’s a glorious time for baseball fans, even if it is far, far too early to predict the Opening Day starting lineup and starter. Which is exactly why most of us love to see those predictions!

So, without further ado, if Opening Day 2013 was today, I would expect the starting lineup for the Minnesota Twins to be:

  1. Darin Mastroianni (CF)
  2. Brian Dozier (2B)
  3. Joe Mauer (C)
  4. Josh Willingham (LF)
  5. Justin Morneau (1B)
  6. Trevor Plouffe (3B)
  7. Ryan Doumit (DH)
  8. Chris Parmelee (RF)
  9. Pedro Florimon (SS)
  10. Starting Pitcher: Vance Worley


There are many, many questions in that lineup, and I expect my opinion to change over the upcoming weeks. I may just post an update as the pre-season chugs along. Today, I struggled the most with the middle infield. Eduardo Escobar and Jamey Carroll are two more names to be added to the mix of Dozier and Florimon, and none of the four I’ve mentioned currently instill hope and excitement in the average fan…or seem to lock down a starting spot.

September 16, 2012; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Darin Mastroianni (19) during the game against the Chicago White Sox at Target Field. The White Sox defeated the Twins 9-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Centerfield is another position that is up for grabs. I really got to like Mastroianni last season, so I lean toward him because he’s a known quantity. (It’s also possible that it has something to do with his Italian last name and my Italian heritage. We won’t quibble about this.) However, I list him (at the moment) as the Opening Day centerfielder, not necessarily the long-term centerfielder for the Twins. There seems to be consensus that Mastroianni will struggle as an everyday player, so Aaron Hicks or Joe Benson will likely take over the job. For what it’s worth, Rhett Bollinger of concurs with my current assessment of the centerfield starter.

Finally, there is the sticky business of the Opening Day starter. The Twins don’t have a clear ace on staff, much to the chagrin of fans and management alike. Shortly before Spring Training began, LaVelle E. Neal III of tweeted that Scott Diamond, the Twins lone bright spot on a list of dismal 2012 starters, may not be ready to pitch when the 2013 regular season begins:



Diamond said on the 2/18/13 Hot Stove show on AM 1500 ESPN that the timeline for his recovery would be closely linked to how he feels when pitching off the mound for the first time. He’ll do that today (2/19/13). Until that happens, and until the real result is known, it’s really anybody’s guess as to when Diamond is available. Call me pessimistic, but I chose to go with the scenario that Diamond won’t be ready. I’m trying really hard not to get my hopes up in any area of the Twins’ game for the 2013 season, as I expect I would just face disappointment again. (I have higher expectations for 2014.)

That being said, if Diamond would be available for Opening Day 2013, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have Worley as the starter anyway. I was able to see Diamond in his first appearance for the Twins, and I’ve been on his side since then, even before it was en vogue. Solid pitcher he may be. Calling him an “Ace” is probably (very likely) a stretch.

If you had to write the 2013 Opening Day starting rotation today, what would your lineup card look like? Share your lineup card and your reasoning in the comments below.

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Tags: Minnesota Twins

  • disqus_O3UDrGztyp

    You give too much credit to a strong Minor league career of Dozier! I think 11 big league seasons of a .274 average, .355 OBP and above league average Defense warrants Carroll the no brainier option at 2B. Dozier seems like a great kid, has potential and will be a big leaguer someday again, but if the twins are to be competitive, Carroll is the ideal 2-hole hitter in front of the big boys and Gardy loves him. Past that.. Hicks wins CF job in my opinion. Go twins!!

    • PMinell

      Dozier will be 25 in May, so he’s no spring chicken. If he doesn’t make it this year, will he ever? (Not a reason to pick him, certainly, so that’s not what I mean.) He had some injury issues last year (wrist, if I’m not mistaken), so I’m willing to give him a little slack…this early in Spring Training. At this point, I still think Mastroianni starts the season but Hicks or Benson (probably Hicks) takes over. But, give Spring Training a few weeks & I might change my mind to your viewpoint. Thanks for the comments! Oh, and I thought about Carroll as the second hitter and playing at second, but I didn’t quite convince myself. Interesting point, there! However, I just donm’t think the 39-year-old is an everyday guy anymore. We’ll have to see! And I agree, Go Twins!

  • Paul Pleiss

    Dozier at second base I like, Dozier batting 2nd, that’s a heck of a stretch. I think it’s more likely we see Mauer, there, and I’d say that’s a 50/50 chance. I don’t know who they put there, but Dozier doesn’t fit. If Jamey Carroll is the starting 2B I could see him at the #2 slot. Definitely something fun to argue about. If I lived closer I’d recommend we grab a beer and discuss the #2 spot and the lineup in general, at length.

    • PMinell

      I had a hard time deciding who would bat second. I honestly thought about Mauer, but I’ve heard Gardy say several times – and in relatively recent interviews – that he doesn’t envision him there. I’ve heard some good arguements for Mauer batting second…so we’ll see.