It's Jan. 6. It is ridiculously, stupidly cold outside. Pitchers and catchers report to spring training for the Twins in about 40 days. Really there are more like 3 months until real games happen, but pitchers and catchers reporting is a nice winter benchmark.
As such, we are more than halfway into the offseason -- and while the Twins have made significant moves in an attempt to bolster their starting rotation, the lineup is, well, another story.
There are very few spots written in pen, but if the season started today here is how we see the lineup shaking out:
Alex Presley (CF)
Brian Dozier (2B)
Joe Mauer (1B)
Josh Willingham (DH)
Oswaldo Arcia (LF)
Trevor Plouffe (3B)
Josmil Pinto (C)
Jason Kubel (RF)
Pedro Florimon (SS)
The caveats, of course, are numerous. The outfield is the most unsettled place, with Chris Parmelee, Chris Colabello as well as Darin Mastroianni and perhaps Aaron Hicks also in the mix. Basically they have about four outfielders who should/could be DHs. But that's how we're guessing it starts out.
Pinto and Kurt Suzuki could very well end up in a basic platoon, and it wouldn't surprise us if Suzuki is the opening day starter since he has a better defensive reputation.
And we still think it is entirely possible that Miguel Sano will claim the starting job at third base to start the 2014 season, pushing Plouffe into a jack-of-all-trades role.
That said, there are only four guys we would write in pen, when healthy, to be starters somewhere on the field: Dozier, Mauer, Willingham and Arcia. Maybe Florimon, mostly by default.
The Twins can, of course, still add players and bolster the lineup. As of now, though, we are officially more worried about the lineup than the rotation.