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Does left field belong to Eddie Rosario?

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Amidst the outfield shuffle, the Twins are committed to giving Eddie Rosario playing time. Could left field be his long term home?

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Minnesota's outfield has been a combination of train wreck and promise this season. Torii Hunter and Shane Robinson have been the only real constants, and other than Hunter's performance in May and June it's safe to say that neither player has put forward a performance that any club would like to see from a starter. Oswaldo Arcia, Aaron Hicks, Byron Buxton, Jordan Schafer; the list of 2015 outfielders isn't a short one for the Twins.

Which brings us to Eddie Rosario. With 88 games played and 336 plate appearances, both ranked second for Minnesota outfielders this season, Paul Molitor and the Twins have demonstrated their willingness to stick with the 23-year old rookie. Some of that hasn't been by choice - Arcia's minor league performance, the uphill battle for Hicks to start the season, Schafer's poor performance, and injuries have forced the issue a bit - but Rosario has held his own by producing offense at roughly a league average rate (99 OPS+, 98 wRC+). He's also been the sixth-most valuable American League position player rookie by fWAR (1.5); Miguel Sano (1.6 fWAR) is fourth.

During Sunday's broadcast, Dick and Bert discussed Paul Molitor's announcement that the Twins would try to keep Rosario in left field for the time being. There aren't a shortage of reasons for that decision, with the current makeup of the roster (Hunter playing right field and Rosario having a better arm than Robinson) providing all the justification Molitor needs.

But what happens down the line? Hicks has about 50 innings split between left and right fields in his Major League career, and with Buxton on the roster Hicks is destined for one of those two spots when he's healthy. Considering how well he did since his recall (.281/.333/.477 since July 3), his return to the lineup is guaranteed. There's no reason that he couldn't return to action as Minnesota's everyday right fielder, flipping to left when Hunter gets a day or center for a day off for Buxton.

We could speculate on Arcia's return to right field, which is where he'd spent a majority of his time prior to 2015. It would make sense, considering Hunter's extended slump (.189/.249/.369 in 225 plate appearances back to June 8) and Robinson's profile as a fourth outfielder. Unfortunately Arcia himself is making that impossible, batting .073 in August and .206/.266/.387 overall in Triple-A. It's a long fall from grace for a young outfielder with his Major League credentials, but for a guy who hit .313/426/.594 for the Red Wings in 2013 and .312/.365/.597 there last year, the Twins just have to hope that this is something the coaches and the player can figure out. But for 2015, it's safe to say that Arcia isn't in the picture.

For the foreseeable future, left field belongs to Eddie Rosario. Whether or not it's his long-term home is up to him, barring an Arcia-like regression or a flip back to right when Hicks returns. Either way, right now the Twins are coming out ahead.