Breaking: Do The Twins Panic On Oswaldo Arcia?


As the 2015 Major League Baseball season looms around the corner, Oswaldo Arcia is set to be the Minnesota Twins opening day left fielder. With the signing of Torii Hunter, Arcia will be shifted to the other corner spot to cement his place in the lineup. Reports have surfaced that a lingering back problem will keep him from finishing his Venezuelan Winter Ball season. With that in mind, is it time to push the panic button?

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Looking at the Twins outfield defensively, Minnesota could have more than a few issues. Aaron Hicks is slated to be the starting centerfielder, and provides plenty of speed. Unfortunately, both Hunter and Arcia are defensive liabilities in relation to tracking the baseball, and Arcia’s lone upside is his arm. Minnesota also has less than ideal options behind them.

The fourth outfielder for the Twins will likely be Jordan Schafer, and while he can play all three positions, he’s not the ideal candidate to bat in your lineup. Alternative options remain slim with minor league signee Shane Robinson, and utility man Eduardo Nunez appearing as the most likely possibilities.

For the Twins, Oswaldo Arcia always provided the highest level of worth through his bat. A powerful swing that has produced 34 home runs over his first two major league seasons, Arcia is seen as a hitter first and foremost. At just 24-years-old entering the 2015 season, Arcia figures to be in the long-term plans for the Twins. In just a short time though, his back issues have proved to be an issue in regards to keeping the slugger on the field.

It is fair to question whether or not it was smart of the Twins to allow Arcia to play in a winter league in the first place. Knowing full well that the back issues have been prevalent, it would seem more harm than gain would come out of such an engagement. Nearing the end of the 2014 season, Arcia took significant strides forward at the plate under the direction of Tom Brunansky. Despite a season line of .231/.300/.452, Arcia saw an uptick to the tune of .263/.330/.513 over the final month. He still stuck out too much in comparison to his walks (27/8), and needs to show more discipline at the plate. Arcia did launch six home runs in just 23 games over the month of September however.

At this point, it should be considered a blessing the Oswaldo Arcia has decided against returning to his Venezuelan team for the remainder of winter ball. There remains little to gain by putting his back through extra at bats prior to spring training. Hopefully the few weeks off are enough to heal and have the Twins left fielder close to 100% prior to the beginning of the season. Looking above at the options, losing Arcia from the lineup remains amongst the worst case scenarios for the Twins.

Next: Projecting Your Minnesota Twins 25 Man Roster

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