Minnesota Twins Opening Day Projection: The Twins Bench
By Nate Palmer
In 2017, Robbie Grossman got the most at-bats of any Twins batter at designated hitter. Grossman hit .246/.361/.380 as well as 9 home runs and 22 doubles. Grossman certainly doesn’t have the power that would be traditionally thought of from the DH spot, but he continued to be good at getting on base. Of players that played at least 100 games in 2017, Grossman was just on the outside of the top 50 in OBP.
What has to be an interesting situation for Grossman is that his place on the Twins has changed dramatically in the course of a week. He went from assured bench spot and fringe starter to now having his spot on the Opening Day roster very much in question. This spring he will need to prove his glove is good enough to play the corner outfield to ensure his place on the roster and playing time during the season.
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Grossman is currently battling Kennys Vargas and Zack Granite most closely for that final position. Both Grossman and Vargas don’t have options remaining on their contract making this battle differently important for them. Granite does have options and his value to the Twins may be his glove before his bat, although if he can prove to be the on-base machine he was in the minors he could become a serviceable player in the majors.
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In the end, there is simply more trust in Grossman’s bat then Vargas’, and Granite’s available option makes it an easy decision to see what Grossman can offer in 2018 before simply letting him go. The only way I don’t see Grossman fill this final bench spot is the real possibility that with Morrison in the fold that the Twins might see if they can find some trade value in Grossman and his affordable $2 million contract.