The first two months of the year are generally a time for teams to figure out who they are, and to freak out their fans, because every down spot is magnified to a greater degree than a swoon in early July is. Now, though, with two months in the books, teams have an idea of what kind of holes they need to fill, and they need to think about filling them.
For the teams that are rapidly falling out of contention, June can be about finding spots where youngsters who are nearly ready to contribute at the Major League level can start to ply their craft with the big league club. For teams that consider their post season chances to be good, they can use June as a time to look at internal candidates to patch holes for a discounted price before turning to the trade market.
Fortunately for the Twins, their best minor league assets could be used to suit both of those roles. Nick Gordon is, without question, the Twins’ nearest to Major League ready prospect, and doesn’t have a lot to prove at the AAA level. Gordon is not viewed as an elite defensive prospect, but he is expected to be a reliable offensive threat, which is more than can be said about Ehire Adrianza, who he would be replacing.
Eduardo Escobar is worth keeping in the lineup, and his versatility should be allow a position on most nights, even if Gordon compels more time in the lineup than Adrianza did. The question of lineup construction becomes more difficult when Jorge Polanco returns.
That’s perhaps a more pertinent reason to get Gordon in the lineup now. He would have 30 games or so to endear himself to the Major League staff before Polanco came back. If Gordon struggles until then, then that’s fine, he gets the experience he needs for next year to soften the blow if Brian Dozier departs. If not, then that is an asset for the rest of the season. The roster crunch would be a good problem to have.
I don’t think I’m breaking any new ground here, and I don’t think I’m making any points the front office hasn’t made internally. Essentially, this is a preview. Expect June to be the month that the Twins test some top names from the minor leagues. No candidate seems more primed for a spot in the big leagues than Gordon.