At the beginning of this month, I projected the Twins Opening Day roster. When spring training begins, I’ll update that list. There are few questions marks in the roster. The fifth starter job will be up for grabs as well as a couple of bullpen spots. However, the centerfield job will certainly be one to watch.
We know that Torii Hunter will be starting in right field. Oswaldo Arcia will make the move over to left field, but centerfield remains a question.
The Twins did not address the position in the offseason, at least not in a big, obvious way. This leads me to what I believe to be Plan A.
Plan A: Third Time’s The Charm
I am of the belief that the Twins brass wants for Aaron Hicks to have a strong spring training and take the reins on the starting job. That’s what he did in 2013. In 2014, he beat out Alex Presley for the starting centerfield job. In fact, the Twins DFAd Presley near the end of spring training, meaning that there really wasn’t a backup plan for 2014. In fact, when Hicks was sent back to the minor leagues, the Twins tried Eduardo Escobar in centerfield for a game before the job was given to Danny Santana, who ran with it.
Hicks will be just 25 years old throughout the 2014 season. That isn’t necessarily young, but I wonder if some think he might be older after being given the opportunity the last two seasons. He has never been a great hitter in the minor leaguers, but in a good year, he can fill a stat sheet. He has all the tools to be good. Even in a poor 2014 season, he posted a .341 on-base percentage.
It’s possible, so the team does have to have a Plan B too.
Plan B: Fourth Outfielder Platoon
Jordan Schafer is going to be on the roster. If Aaron Hicks is the starter, Schafer is the fourth outfielder. If Aaron Hicks is sent to the minor leagues, Schafer gets a lot more playing time.
The 28 year old was DFAd last year after hitting just .163 in 80 at bats over 63 games for Atlanta. The Twins swooped in and claimed him. He was given regular playing time and showed what he could do. He hit .285/.345/.362 (.707) with seven extra base hits. The speedster combined to steal 30 bases over the course of the season.
Schafer would be the primary starter. As a left-handed hitter, there would likely be a right-hand hitting option to play centerfield against southpaws.
Who could that right-handed centerfield option be? And, what could possibly be Plans C and D? Click here to continue reading this article at Twins Daily.
- As you read yesterday, Nick asked what it would take for the Twins to contend in 2015.
- Parker wrote a very interesting article about the Twins first round draft picks from 2006 through 2011. Overall would the group be considered a bust?
- Earlier in the week, Seth had the chance to chat with a couple of the Twins 2014 draft picks. Get to know the Twins 9th round pick last year, Max Murphy from Robbinsdale Cooper. You can also learn a little more about top draft pick Nick Gordon.
- At Vikings Journal, Arif takes a look at the top free agent options for the Vikings this offseason. In this installment, he looks at numbers 11 through 15.
- At Wild Xtra, Aaron takes a look at the Wild's O-Zone Defense.
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