It's safe to say there's a lot riding on how this season goes for the Minnesota Twins. The front office made big moves this offseason to bring back Carlos Correa, shipped out Luis Arraez to improve the starting rotation, and spent wisely elsewhere to give the Twins the best depth the club has had in years.
Simply put, a repeat of last season't disaster won't be tolerated.
For as much self-inflicted damage the Twins did to themselves last year, injuries played a big role in derailing everything. Minnesota was trotting out guys like Randy Dobnak in must-win games in September and needed to lean on fourth and fifth options to fill position gaps in the lineup.
Things are aligned differently this season, but the injury bug is a variable that is hard to fully account for. Specifically, a full season of Byron Buxton staying healthy could be the difference between the Twins finally winning a playoff game again and the team missing the postseason entirely.
Derek Falvey knows this, and wants to make sure everyone is on the same page about where expectations should be entering the season. Falvey spoke with the media in Fort Myers and updated the health status of not only Buxton but Jorge Polanco as well.
Sigh of relief doesn't begin to describe how Twins fans feel about this, but we're still a long way from October.
Buxton and Polanco starting the season healthy is obviously great but it's not totally realistic to expect them to make it thorugh the whole season without needing some time. Thankfully, Minnesota has budgeted for such things with some of the team's offseason moves.
Donovan Solano will not only be able to fill the gap if Polanco misses time but can give him some days off when a left-handed pitcher is on the mound. Buxton now has Michael A. Taylor behind him on the centerfield depth chart, something that also combats against the possibilty of him missing time and the team needing to not miss a beat.
Buxton and Taylor may end up forming the best defensive duo in all of baseball, but let's walk before we run with our expectations.
Falvey's update is much needed good news when it comes to injury concerns entering the season, as Minnesota has already been dealing with a few different issues in that department. Jose Miranda has a shoulder injury that has prevented him from throwing, and Austin Martin may need Tommy John surgery after suffering a UCL sprain.
Still, as bad as that may seem with the season still weeks away from starting, the Twins appear to be in a position to weather any injury storms that blow through.