3 Twins pitchers who could make Opening Day roster after injuries to Jhoan Duran and others

Three pitchers are set to start the season on the IL, which means some roster spots just opened up.
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Kody Funderburk

Last season Kody Funderburk made a triumphant debut late in September and even made it onto the AL Wild Card roster in October. He now will likely get a chance to start the season on the 26-man roster.

After Alcalá and Josh Staumont, Funderburk makes the most sense as a replacement in the bullpen while Minnesota waits for guys to get healthy. Staumont was already sort of a lock, although he was dealing with injuries of his own, but Funderburk was firmly on the outside looking in.

He's had a tough spring on paper, posting a 5.12 ERA across eight innings, but he's also logged 12 strikeouts and only six hits. Funderburk has nothced three holds as well, which is what the Twins will need out of him if he sees action during the first few weeks of the season.

Louie Varland

Outside of the bullpen, the Twins need to figure out who the No. 5 starter will be now that DeSclafani is starting the season on the IL. The most logical candidate is Louie Varland, who was trying to make a case for being a potential sixth starter if Minnesota decided to go that route.

It's the second year we've wondered about a six-man rotation for the Twins, and just like last season it's not going to happen. The fact that it was even a debate proves how deep the talent is, and helps soothe the pain of starting the season without DeSclafani.

The No. 5 starter role is likely back to DeSclafani when he's actiavted, but the question is whether or not Varland sticks around. He'll get at least one start to try and prove he deserves to remain on the 26-man roster, although doing so would require leaving a reliever out of the mix.

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