Minnesota Twins: 5 most important players in the second half

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CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 28: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins watches his two run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JUNE 28: Miguel Sano #22 of the Minnesota Twins watches his two run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the second inning at Guaranteed Rate Field on June 28, 2019 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by David Banks/Getty Images) /
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NEW YORK, NY – MAY 5: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after striking out swinging against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on May 5, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY – MAY 5: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Minnesota Twins reacts after striking out swinging against the New York Yankees during the eighth inning at Yankee Stadium on May 5, 2019 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Adam Hunger/Getty Images) /

Marwin Gonzalez

At the beginning of the season, few Twins were as cold at the plate as Marwin Gonzalez. As a late signing to the roster, Gonzalez struggled in the opening months as he hit .167 with 2 HR and 7 RBI in March/April before turning it on to hit .299 with 3 HR and 10 RBI in May. Those numbers have cooled off a bit since then (and a hamstring injury hasn’t helped either), but can Gonzalez be the two-way player the Twins signed him to be?

At this point in the season, it’s clear that manager Rocco Baldelli wants to keep his players as fresh as possible for the stretch run. Although he would love everybody to play every game, he’s going to need to save some players from themselves and that’s where Gonzalez comes in.

If Gonzalez can be productive, the Twins will be able to avoid having to make another big move to acquire another bat. It sounds crazy, but the Twins will need to figure out how to replace Gonzalez if his hamstring acts up in the wake of Willians Astudillo‘s injury, which should keep him out for a little longer than expected.

If the utility man can have a strong second half, the Twins will have the depth needed for their playoff push.

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