It’s finally here, Opening Day has arrived and the Minnesota Twins are going to be playing meaningful baseball.
Spring Training gave us our first good look at what this new Twins lineup might look like, but injuries have already factored in. Both Alex Kirilloff and Jorge Polanco are starting the season on the IL, meaning Trevor Larnach and Willi Castro were able to secure roster spots.
Cole Sands also made the cut and is on the 26-man roster, as did Jovani Moran. All four players were considered to be on the roster bubble but they’ll be with the Twins in Kansas City for Opening Day.
Castro is a great story, but he won’t be in the starting lineup for the first game of the season. Instead, Rocco Baldelli is already getting creative with the depth he has on the roster and has put together an interesting lineup for Opening Day.
Opening Day 2023: Minnesota Twins lineup today vs. Royals (March 30)
WIth Jorge Polanco out, the question was who would lead-off for the Twins in his absence. A few different lineups were experimented with down in Fort Meyers, including having Joey Gallo hitting first, but things settled on Max Kepler leading off for the first game of the season.
Speaking of Polanco being out, it’s Nick Gordon getting the start at second base rather than free agent acquisition Donovan Solano. The fact that Zack Greinke is a right-handed pitcher likely played into that decision, though.
Here’s a look at the first official starting lineup of the season for the Twins:
Michael A. Taylor
There are a few interesting things to unpack here, and it will be interesting to see how they play out moving forward.
Minnesota beginning the season without Alex Kirilloff healthy was a bit of a curveball, but one that Rocco Baldelli is already getting creative to account for. Unlike filling for Jorge Polanco at second base, there aren’t as many options for replacing Kirilloff and Rocco has gone with the most far-out of the batch.
Joey Gallo spent time at first base during Spring Training, but he hasn’t truly spent regular season time there since 2019. He was always an option to fill in for Kirilloff but didn’t seem like the first one.
Don’t tell that to Rocco, though.
Jose Miranda spent most of his time at first last year, but he’ll begin the season at third base. In the event he slides over to first, Kyle Farmer appears to be in line to take starts at third with an outside chance that Carlos Correa might spend time there if desperately needed.
Byron Buxton was the third major Twins player who fans feared might not be healthy for Opening Day. He made the lineup, but he’s going to be kept from the field to start the year. Buxton DH’ing isn’t uncommon and it’s probably the best safety measure the team can take given his injury history and the need for him to form a healthy tandem with Correa for the majority of this season.
How to watch Opening Day 2023: Twins vs. Royals live stream, TV channel, and radio
WIth all of the drama about Bally Sports North that bubbled up late in Spring Training, Twins fans might be feeling a little anxiety about how to catch today’s Opening Day game.
Bally Sports North will still have the game for in-market fans while MLB.tv has folks outside of Minnesota covered. Of course, the smooth sounds of Cory Provus and Dan Gladden are always an option on Sirius XM or WCCO Radio.
- Date: Thursday, March 30 Time: 3:10 p.m. CT
- TV Channel: MLB Network | Bally Sports North
- Live stream: fuboTV (Try for free) | MLB.tv
- Radio: WCCO 830AM
Hopefully this Opening Day goes better than the last few. The Twins have lost back-to-back Opening Day games after winning back-to-back openers in 2019 and 2020. Unfortunately that’s the peak of the last decade-plus as Minnesota is 3-10 in Opening Day games since