Minnesota Twins: Taking stock of the roster after Nelson Cruz signing

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DETROIT, MI - September 19: Tyler Austin #31 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates scoring a fourth inning run with teammates while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 19, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
DETROIT, MI - September 19: Tyler Austin #31 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates scoring a fourth inning run with teammates while playing the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 19, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins just added a legitimate power bat in Nelson Cruz to their roster. Let’s see what the 25-man looks like now with Cruz in the fold.

The Minnesota Twins roster has taken a much different shape from this time last offseason. Even since the end of the 2018 regular season, it looks significantly different from it once did. As the calendar is about to turn to 2019, let’s take a look at what the Twins Opening Day roster may look like as of today.

Starting Lineup

Cron, Schoop, and Cruz are the additions to this lineup card as those three represent the biggest moves the Twins have made this offseason. As we look up and down this lineup, there is huge potential for home runs within it as Kepler and Rosario are coming off 20 home run seasons, Polanco has offensive and power potential, and of course we know what Sano does when he is right.

Not that this necessarily signals a huge culture shift for the Twins, but this lineup is much more right-handed than it has been for some time. With Castro’s availability up in the air, Joe Mauer‘s retirement, and Logan Morrison hitting free agency each of those players is replaced by a right-handed bat.

Bench

This bench, as you will see, reflects the Twins carrying a 13 man pitching staff. It is very possible the Twins begin the season with a 12 man staff, but it seems they will likely carry 13 for the bulk of the season again in my opinion.

On this bench, Adrianza becomes a super-utility player. We saw him get some run in the outfield last season when the team was in a pinch and that could happen again this season. Cave will likely continue to rotate between the three outfield positions as needed. Castro is here if he is healthy but if he isn’t, look to see the return of Willians Astudillo to the Twins roster.

Ronald Torreyes is possibly the next player up for a bench role if the pitching staff is at 12. That is unless the Twins think they can continue to carry Tyler Austin and have three 1B/DH type players on the 25-man roster.

Starting Rotation

Really not a whole lot to talk about and consider with the starting rotation as it sets up about the same as it did when the offseason began. As long as Pineda is fully healthy come spring, the only question mark is who will rise out of the young starters to take hold of the 5th rotation spot.

I don’t know if Mejia will claim the starting role, but it seems that he will make the 25-man roster in some fashion to start the season since he is out of options.

Bullpen

Same as the rotation, the bullpen looks about the same as when the offseason began. That I would expect will be changing shortly as the front office has likely shifted its attention towards adding some pitching.

I would guess May becomes the teams closer with hopes that Reed can return to form and be the Twins “fireman” that they hoped he would become last offseason when they signed him. It also seems a real possibility that Romero or Mejia is in the Twins bullpen if they do not make the starting rotation.

I also hold the belief that Morin is a dark horse to make the Twins bullpen. If not on Opening Day at some point during the 2019 season. Check out what I wrote about Morin shortly after the Twins signed him to a minor league deal.

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It seems very likely the Twins are yet to add one if not two bullpen arms to this mix. That means once we head to spring training pitchers like Moya, Vasquez, De Jong, and Morin will all be in a slugfest to earn that final spot in the Twins bullpen.

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