Minnesota Twins Opening Day Projection: The Twins Bench
By Nate Palmer
Ehire Adrianza had his best season at the major league level in 2017. After being claimed off waivers by the Milwaukee Brewers from the San Fransisco Giants earlier in the offseason, he would then be claimed by the Twins from the Brewers. Adrianza’s start with the Twins would be delayed due to injury, but from the beginning of May on he was a fixture on the Twins bench.
As mentioned in the opening, Adrianza hit .265/.324/.707 and 2 home runs, 9 doubles, 2 triples and 8 stolen bases in 9 attempts. On the way to 186 plate appearances, Adrianza lined up defensively all across the infield and in left field throughout 2017. He proved to be a significant upgrade from Danny Santana for the Twins.
Adrianza does have a bit of a position battle on his hands as the Twins did sign veteran Erick Aybar to challenge him for a utility infielder role on the Twins bench. From a pure spring performance standpoint, Aybar is putting up his best challenge as the close of Thursday’s game as he is hitting .500 in three spring games.
Adrianza isn’t going away quietly and is putting up an impressive spring of his own hitting .333/.412/.667 with 2 doubles and a home run. He has looked good swinging the bat to this point in the spring and seemed to have done his best to prepare himself to stick with the major league club and his manager is taking notice. As Mike Berardino tweeted Paul Molitor said of Adrianza, “He looks like he put on a little muscle.” His glove and his bat seems to have a bench spot secured again for 2018.