We’re only a few weeks away from Opening Day for the Minnesota Twins and you can feel the excitement in the air. However, injuries are inevitable and Puckett’s Pond is here to keep you up to date on all the latest developments.
Minnesota Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario has been listed as “no-throw” status after suffering a minor elbow injury. Rosario has been experiencing elbow discomfort since Sunday and is expected to be out of the lineup until later this weekend.
Manager Paul Molitor doesn’t sound too concerned over the injury to Rosario’s right triceps and expects this to be a short-term problem. However, if this injury lingers into the regular season, Minnesota might be in some trouble.
Rosario enjoyed a career year during the 2017 season and the Minnesota Twins are banking on him to achieve their goals this season. He hit 27 home runs with 78 runs batted in while hitting .290 for the Twins last season and looks like a star in the making.
Minnesota will need contributions from everybody in the clubhouse this season if they are going to reach the postseason in 2018. If this injury is worse than what the Twins brass believe it to be, the team has options to fill the void. However, not one of the following players will provide what a healthy Rosario will for this lineup.
The first player who will get a chance in left field is Zack Granite. The speedy outfielder will be an adequate replacement defensively. However, his offense is nowhere near the level of what Rosario brings to the table.
Granite enters the ’18 season with only 107 plate appearances in the Major Leagues. He hit a meager .237 with one home run and only 22 hits last season for the Twins. However, Granite makes up for any offensive deficiencies with above-average speed and defense.
He doesn’t hit for power and that would hurt Minnesota if Rosario misses an extended period of time. However, he has demonstrated a keen eye at the plate throughout his Minor League career and maintains a low strikeout rate.
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The player who will benefit the most from Rosario being injured is Robbie Grossman. When the Minnesota Twins acquired Logan Morrison it left Grossman as the odd man out for a roster spot. Grossman still has a chance to beat out Kennys Vargas for the last bench role. However, Vargas is young and yet to tap into his potential, while Grossman has already reached his ceiling.
Grossman is an interesting player and provides quality at-bats each time he steps to the plate. He doesn’t hit for a high average or for a lot of power, but Grossman does reach base consistently. He has a career .351 on base percentage and has struck out over 100 times in a season only once during his career.
However, Grossman is a liability in the field and that’s where the Minnesota Twins would miss Rosario the most. That is also the reason Grossman is a long shot to even make the opening day roster. If Minnesota has to depend on Grossman in the outfield then they are in trouble.
The Twins will be able to weather the storm for a few weeks if need be, but hopefully that’s not the case. However, any lingering effects of this injury will play a huge role in what happens to the Twins during the ’18 season.
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