There is no way to say what will happen over the course of a season. Who will be successful, who won’t be, who will stay healthy and who will be injured? Most importantly, it’s tough to divine what will happen when the series get shorter and random chance settles in, but the way it looks right now, you couldn’t ask for a more well-constructed team than the Minnesota Twins.
A lot of attention has been paid to the 2020 roster, which has been constructed extremely well. There is an incredible amount of depth within the current lineup, with really only Luis Arraez not likely to hit 20+ homeruns in a season given regular playing time, and Arraez is forecast by some to be a contender for the batting crown this season.
Not only is there depth in the lineup, there isn’t going to be much of a drop off if you give someone a day off. Marwin Gonzalez has flexibility, Jake Cave is one of the better 4th outfielders in the league, Alex Avila is a professional hitter and Ehire Adrianza improves the defense when he is in the lineup.
Now, we are also at a point where the pitching staff is palatable as well. While Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi are still the numbers 1 and 2 starters, the depth behind them increased dramatically. Michael Pineda will return when his suspension is concluded, but the season will start with newly acquired Kenta Maeda, Homer Bailey and Jhoulys Chacin, all players with playoff experience, in the rotation. Pineda may push one of those guys out, and then Rich Hill will join the team in the second half, likely to pushing another arm out. If there are injuries, all those guys are still available, and beyond that, Devin Smeltzer, Randy Dobnak and Lewis Thorpe cut their teeth last year, and are going to be ready to go this season as well.
The rotation doesn’t necessarily need to be the best in the league, given the offense, but also given the depth in the bullpen. The pen really started to find themselves late last year, thanks in part to the emergence of Trevor May and Tyler Duffey, and the continued dominance of Taylor Rogers. They were supplemented by Sergio Romo late in the year, and now will see Tyler Clippard join their ranks. Zach Littell, Cody Stashak and the trio of potential starters will round out the complement of available relief arms.
The roster for 2020 is nearly without fault, on paper. In the clubhouse, as well, the team looks it is well constructed. Not only is the core of the team locally grown and close, personally, but the veterans added seem to relish the responsibility of mentorship. Nelson Cruz bonded with Miguel Sano early in the season last year, while Josh Donaldson, by all reports, has gone into camp with the intent of teaching and leading.
The team also maintains financial flexibility in future seasons, so they will be able to continue to patch and repair weaknesses in the roster if they arise next offseason. They also have a well stocked and maintained farm with appealing prospects if they need to come to the rescue either as rookies this season, or as pieces used in trades to supplement the current iteration of the team.
I’m not sure there is another team in the league that has the depth of the current roster coupled with future flexibility, thanks to an accommodating payroll and a deep farm. This could be a good decade in Minneapolis.