Minnesota Twins Offseason Need No. 4: Offensive Depth
In the 2022 season, the Twins were crushed by injuries, both offensively and on the mound, but while the pitching is already better equipped to handle this problem, the offense is still sorely lacking in the MLB level-depth department.
Shortstop doesn’t have a starter OR a backup (more on that later). The outfield has three great but fragile options. There’s only one catcher on the roster (also more on that later). The infield is very thin on the right side and in Triple-A. This is a problem that needs fixing.
Last year, Mark Contreras, Gilberto Celestino, Jake Cave, Jermaine Palacios, and more were forced into major roles, despite that fact they shouldn’t be on an MLB roster to begin with. This is a big issue to change next year.
Nick Gordon will be back this year, and he should once again serve as a spot starter and utility man. He’s transformed into a very useful player, but definitely not one that the Twins can use every day. Gio Urshela is good, but he also would be best served in a depth role (with Miranda at third). Max Kepler is a great defensive substitution, bot can’t start. Something’s got to give.
The team still needs another outfield bat, because it’s clear that Gilberto Celestino is best used as a Triple-A outfielder who gets called up when players go on the IL. Kyle Garlick is fun, but he’s not useable enough on a daily basis. Gordon can be that fourth outfielder, but then the team needs another infielder.
Buxton, Larnach, Kirilloff, Arraez, Polanco, Jeffers, Miranda, Gordon, and Urshela should all be locks for next year’s roster. Kepler and Urshela should stick around as well (at least until Royce Lewis returns), with Wallner starting in AAA. Add in a shortstop and a second catcher, and you’re at 13 guys.
With Wallner and Celestino ready for stretches and Royce returning soon, the team is deeper than last year. Injuries will happen though, so the team should consider adding a utility talent to help bolster the depth if they want to really contend.