Sep 11, 2014; Cleveland, OH, USA; Minnesota Twins first basemanJoe Mauer
(7) fields a ground ball in the fifth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-USA TODAY Sports
From left to right, starting position players will be Trevor Plouffe, Danny Santana, Brian Dozier, and Joe Mauer. Plouffe did enough at third last year to show that he is starting to use some of the ability that the Twins believed he possessed. Santana will make the move to a full-time shortstop, and Dozier will be his double-play partner up the middle. Joe Mauer will continue to lock down first base.
Looking at replacement players, Kennys Vargas will likely be the every day designated hitter with the flexibility of moving in and out of first base as well. Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar will be the two players who appear most likely to play a utility role for the Twins. Nunez was tendered a new contract, making it almost certain the Twins will use him at the major league level. Of the two, Nunez also does provide some emergency outfield depth.
If the Twins want to get really exciting out of the gate, I could see Miguel Sano figuring into their opening day plans. In that scenario, it would seem that Vargas would be the odd man out as he provides the least level of defensive flexibility amongst the rest of the group. That being said, I’d consider that a long shot at this point.
Continuing our trot through the field, let’s head to the outfield grass…