Minnesota Twins Opening Day Roster: Bullpen
- Emilio Pagan
- Griffin Jax
- Caleb Thielbar
- Jhoan Duran
- Cole Sands
- Jovani Moran
- Jorge Alcalá
- Jorge Lopez
Oe name that jumps out right away is Jorge Alcalá. His season was ruined by an injury last year, but he’s one of the brightest young pitchers rising through the Twins farm system. Much was made this winter about whether or not Minnesota would add free agent help to bolster the bullpen, but Alcalá essentially serves as a free agent addition since he didn’t get much time with the unit last year.
Expectations are high for him, but that’s true across the board. A number of different factors weighed the bullpen’s succes down last year, but there’s hope that things will shift the other direction. Starters going more than four or five innings should instantly improve things, and guys like Jorge Lopez and Emilio Pagan are set up for bounce back seasons.
Specifically Lopez, who can truly help anchor the bullpen if he returns to All-Star form.
Of course, Jhoan Duran is the star of the group and it will be interesting to see if he can build on his incredible season last year.
Minnesota Twins Opening Day Roster: Infield and Outfield
There were a few surprises on the Opening Day roster that weren’t anticipated at the start of Spring Training.
Aforementioned injuries to Jorge Polanco and Alex Kirilloff opened up some roster spots, which allowed for Willi Castro to make the cut. Minnesota might have been able to carry another reliever if Castro didn’t need a roster spot — both Danny Coulombe and Jeff Hoffman were left off the roster and subsequently left the team — but he adds even more depth to an already deep lineup.
With Castro able to play anywhere, the Twins can better account for the loss of Kirilloff. Castro can play in left which would allow Gallo to start games at first. Jose Miranda spent most of his time at first base last season, and Kyle Farmer can take his spot at third if needed. Donovan Solano also spent time at first base last season with the Reds, but it’s expected that he’ll form a platoon with Farmer and Nick Gordon at second to make up for Polanco’s absence.
Michael A. Taylor
Keep an eye on Michael A. Taylor and Byron Buxton forming one of the best outfield tandems in baseball this year. Both are defensive wizards and both will compliment each other offensively.
Max Kepler is hoping the new shift ban helps get him back to where he was back in 2019 at the plate, while Trevor Larnach will start the year in the Big Leagues after injuries opened up a spot for him.