The Twins are on their way to a spot in the postseason, against all odds, and most of the questions about the team have focused on the starting pitching. Who will start the wild card game? How would the rest of the rotation be filled out? These are all good questions, but I suspect that, at least internally, those questions have already been answered.
So too have the position player questions. The only remaining question remains about Miguel Sano’s shin, and whether or not he will be able to play. If he does, then perhaps Zach Granite DOESN’T make the postseason roster, which means the same number of spots are available in the bullpen. Right now, if I had to guess, the Twins will go with a 4 man rotation – Santana, Berrios, Colon, Gibson – And 12 players on offense, though if they like having an extra OF available, it could be 13, with Granite and Sano potentially making it. That leaves 8 bullpen spots.
The two most important spots that the Twins would want to fill are closer and long reliever, as the closer is a position given perhaps a bit too much credit, and if the rotation is as dodgy as it’s made out to be, well, the long relief is going to be important. With that in mind, the first two spots secure in the pen are probably Matt Belisle and Dillon Gee. Since Colon and Gibson are in the rotation, that leaves Adalberto Mejia out of the rotation, and an option as a lefty long reliever as well. We have 5 spots to fill.
The next couple of spots we fill will go to the three players that Molitor has leaned on the most late in the season, namely Taylor Rogers, Trevor Hildenberger and Alan Busenitz, the latter two being surprisingly effective rookies, whose success is reflective of the surprising progress the team has made to get here. That leaves two choice that are a fair bit more difficult.
The most likely options will be Ryan Pressly and Tyler Duffey, who are the pitchers who have been used the most all season, but with somewhat limited success. Pressly struggled early in the season after some thought he might be a candidate to close games for the Twins, while Duffey has scuffled late. With two other options already in the rotation that can work long relief, I wonder about Duffey’s spot the most. If Duffey doesn’t make it to the post season, look to one of the remaining lefties, Buddy Boshers, to claim that spot. Gabriel Moya would have been a candidate, but his limited work, and the run allowed today pretty much takes care of that.
It’s going to be crazy to see the Twins in the playoffs, but won’t it be even crazier to see Buddy Boshers on a playoff roster?