The Twins have pumped life into their infield this offseasonn, adding CJ Cron and Jonathan Schoop to man the right side, while adding Nelson Cruz as a DH to open up Tyler Austin for infield work as well. No changes were made to the outfield, aside from Robbie Grossman being excised from the roster, but then, no changes were needed.
As a baseline, I think the expectation is that the starting outfield will be Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler. Rosario had a break out last season, Kepler seems poised for a breakout any time now and Byron Buxton may or may not ever put together an entire offensive season, but he will always be a dynamo in the field.
Not many teams can boast a complete outfield like that. And all three of them are or will be pushed in the next couple of seasons. Austin may need to spend time in the corners to sniff the field next season. Jake Cave was a revelation and got regular playing time with Buxton spending the season on the DL. Cave was so good that we didn’t see Zach Granite. Now, Lamonte Wade seems to be primed for a role as a 4th outfielder. Alex Kiriloff and Brett Rooker are looking for something more, sooner rather than later.
The Twins are a flawed, imperfect team, but they have one resounding strength: The outfield. Not only is there talent there, but it is a young, team controlled talent. Sooner or later, a decision will have to be made on how to maintain the outfield staff going forward. Perhaps that day will come when they have a glaring weakness to attend to and an opening to contend in their weak division.
We’ll see if such a situation arises.