Minnesota Twins: 5 players that must step up after Byron Buxton’s injury

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Jake Cave of the Minnesota Twins rounds the bases after hitting a triple. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
Jake Cave of the Minnesota Twins rounds the bases after hitting a triple. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 18: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Minnesota Twins during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 18, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TEXAS – AUGUST 18: Marwin Gonzalez #9 of the Minnesota Twins during the first inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington on August 18, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Marwin Gonzalez

Much like Arraez, Marwin Gonzalez is another player that is more at home in the infield but may be forced into outfield duty pending the severity of the injuries in the outfield. Gonzalez has been a victim of the injury bug himself as he is currently out of the lineup with an abdominal injury, but having him at full health could have him making his way out to right field.

While Gonzalez has played well wherever the Twins have put him on the diamond, right field has been his trouble spot. In 42 games in right field, Gonzalez has struggled, posting a -2.9 UZR which would extrapolate to a -9.8 UZR in 150 games according to FanGraphs.

This isn’t a new phenomenon for Gonzalez as he’s struggled in right field over his entire career. A -7.1 UZR per 150 innings shows that right field may not be his best position, but the Twins might not have a choice with Rosario sticking to left and Kepler shoehorned into center field thanks to Buxton’s injury.

As always, the biggest draw for Gonzalez will be his bat (which helped him hit .305 during the month of August). The Twins will always look for a way to get his bat in the lineup and if manager Rocco Baldelli is forced to trot him out to right field, he needs to make plays in order to help out Minnesota’s pitching staff.

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