4 big questions the Twins need to answer before March is over

We're less than a month away from Opening Day and the Twins have a few questions that need to be answered.

Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two
Wild Card Series - Toronto Blue Jays v Minnesota Twins - Game Two / Brace Hemmelgarn/GettyImages
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Can Louie Varland sneak into the rotation?

One of the biggest questions Minnesota has -- albeit a partially answered one -- is what will happen at the back of the starting rotation. The Twins lost Kenta Maeda to the Detroit Tigers, which is as notable a loss as Sonny Gray leaving even if it doesn't have equal impact on production.

Maeda was a Cy Young finalist back in 2020 and was a solid back of the rotation starter for the Twins last season. He wasn't perfect, but Minnesota needs to find a way to replace his 100-plus innings of work and do so in a way that helps pitching remain a strength.

Anthony DeSclafani seems to be in the driver's seat to be Meada's replacement, but he's not alone in the competition. Louie Varland bounced between the rotation and bullpen for the Twins last year and could use March to make his case for being part of the rotation conversation.

An adjacent question to this is will Minnesota consider a six-man rotation if Varland has an incredible month? This is something we all pondered last season before the Twins ended up sticking with five pitchers, but it's worth pondering again. It all comes down to whether or not Varland has a good enough Spring Training campaign to make expanding the rotation something the team considers.

The most likely scenario is that he begins the season at Triple-A and is the next-man-up when an arm goes down to either injury or poor performance. One thing to keep an eye on is the health of Josh Staumont, who is a potential candidate to begin the season on the IL which would open up a path for Varland to begin the season in the majors.