The Minnesota Twins’ season is about to begin. Puckett’s staff writers make their predictions on 12 topics
The Minnesota Twins’ 2016 season officially kicks off later today. Before the first pitch is thrown, we wanted to get a few predictions in about how this season might pan out.
We’ve selected twelve topics and have asked our staff writers to give their takes on each. We’ll cover 6 in part one and 6 in part two at noon today.
You can navigate to the next slide by clicking the button at the bottom of the page or use your left and right keys. We’ll jump right in with our first question:
Jordan: Murphy. I think Suzuki will be on a short leash, especially considering the potential the offense has going into the season. Plus, Murphy’s the future, right?
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Martin: My gut says Murphy. It will be pretty close but Suzuki is the starting catcher heading into the season. Murphy will have to out hit him to take over the job.
Scott: Suzuki. I think this year is a comeback year for him. If Murphy’s struggles at the plate continue early on into the regular season, Suzuki gains more games early on, and if he hits anywhere near as good as he looks right now, Murphy will only get 1-2 games a week.
Paul: Knowing how the Twins typically operate, I believe that the safe bet is on Kurt Suzuki. In part that is because the Twins typically give “our guys” every opportunity to show themselves before they decide to move on. I see Suzuki taking the large bulk of starts to begin the year, and then Murphy could slowly take on a larger workload. If a full shift occurs, it will be so late in the year that Suzuki will have already locked in the majority of starts for the season.
Manuel: Promising as Murphy may be, I still think Suzuki will. He did well last season, and you would expect more of the same this time around.
Mike: Suzuki. But his playing time should decrease from what it has been the past few years. A smaller workload should be beneficial and Murphy’s presence makes it possible. About 400 plate appearances seems right for Suzuki. That leaves just over 300 PA for Murphy (a big increase for him). If this holds true then Suzuki won’t accrue the 485 PA he needs to vest his 2017 option. Even so, the Twins may elect to exercise the $6 million option anyways if Kurt has a decent campaign.
Next: How Many HRs will Sano and Park hit?