Minnesota Twins: 5 questions for the ALDS vs. the Yankees
By Chris Schad
Are the Twins coming into this series healthy?
There’s a difference between being healthy and being at full strength. At this point of the season, very few players are going to be at full strength after 162 games, but for the Twins, their bigger question is if they can get several of their players at a functional level to have success against the Yankees.
The two biggest question marks heading into the series are Luis Arraez and Max Kepler. While we will know a little more by the time the ALDS roster is submitted on Friday morning, both players have been ramping up their activity throughout the week as they look to contribute to the first phase of the Twins postseason run.
As with any injury, both players will have questions coming back in the shortened time table. For Kepler, that means getting used to game speed after not having an at-bat since Sept. 14. In that game, Kepler didn’t look like himself and wasn’t generating the same velocity that helped him smash a career-high 36 home runs from the leadoff spot.
For Arraez, he’s been on the fast track after he avoided a much more severe fate in a collision with Willians Astudillo on Sept. 27. As he’s been working to return quickly, his range of motion could be a factor at second base or even in the outfield along with the ability to run the bases.
Mix in other players such as Ehire Adrianza (oblique) and C.J. Cron (thumb) who have been in and out of the lineup the past couple of weeks and the Twins are a little banged up. If these players are healthy enough to play to their level, it could be a huge advantage when trying to outslug the Yankees.