When the Minnesota Twins opted to take 13 pitchers to start the 2017 campaign that meant sacrificing an extra spot on the bench.
For the time being, Robbie Grossman is the Minnesota Twins’ everyday designated hitter. He is taking a seat occasionally against difficult right handed match-ups, which could be a big problem for the hometown nine.
Robbie Grossman is off to a hot start to his 2017 campaign hitting .333/.489./.528 and crushing a .412 batting average against lefties. He’s currently tied for fourth in the MLB in walks and is 5th in OBP.
Robbie has had the opportunity to start in 11 of 14 games so far this season and was fortunate enough to see 5 lefties. His career batting average is .050 points higher from the right side of the dish in addition to nearly .080 points higher in OPS.
This brings a difficult problem for the Minnesota Twins when facing tough right handed pitchers while carrying a short bench. The Twins so far this year have hit only .200 on the season from the DH spot against righties. The Twins are 3-6 when facing off against right handed starting pitchers.
Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Miguel Sano have all seen time in the DH role this season against right handed pitchers. They are sharing their typical positions with the likes of Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana, who are more utility players than DH material.
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The solution may be to add a big league bat that can handle right handed pitching. Byung-Ho Park was competing with Kennys Vargas in Spring Training before injuries slowed them both down at the start of the season. Before Park’s injuries, he hit 6 home runs in Spring Training, to go with 3 doubles in 4 AAA games in Rochester.
Park is headed to Ft. Myers to begin his rehab in hopes to return to the lineup soon in the minor’s per Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press.
Other another good option to add some power to the DH role is Daniel Palka, who is coming in on the season as our #12 Twins prospect. Palka hit 34 home runs in 2016 and is off to a hot start in 2017, already adding 5 to his monster total of last year.
Thirteen pitchers on an MLB staff is nearly unheard of. With the offense sputtering, only scoring on average 2.6 runs per game in its last 5 outings, its time to add some bang to the bench.