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How does Marwin Gonzalez impact the Twins’ roster construction?

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Will we need to wave goodbye to a fan-favorite?

League Championship Series - Boston Red Sox v Houston Astros - Game Five Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

With Marwin Gonzalez agreeing to a two-year pact with the Twins, there will be some fall out down the roster. Gonzalez is the ultimate utility player though, so the Twins have some options in how to construct their bench. In fact, I see three fairly clear options, depending on how the Twins view their newest acquisition’s primary skill set — Is he an infielder, and outfielder, or something unique?

The first option the Twins have would be to keep Gonzalez on the roster in lieu of Ehire Adrianza, as the back-up infielder Over his seven year career, Gonzales has spent a significant amount of time at second, third, and shortstop. The first couple years of his MLB career, he exclusively played those three positions, before branching out in more recent seasons. In each of those three infield positions, he has posted roughly league average numbers in both fielding percentage and range factor, so as a back-up option, the Twins could certainly do worse. In fact, Gonzalez and Adrianza are within a rounding error of each other in those metrics over their careers. Gonzalez is the slightly better second baseman, while just a little weaker at the hot corner compared to Adrianza. Gonzalez is also significantly better with the bat. If the Twins were to lose Adrianza, Ronald Torreyes is still available at Rochester in case of injury, and Adrianza could possibly pass through waivers to Triple-A anyhow. If Astudillo makes the team, his ability to play anywhere helps here as well.

In this case, the Twins would likely have a bench of Garver-Gonzalez-Cave, with Astudillo as the optional 13th position player.

If the Twins believe that Gonzalez is better used in the outfield, he would likely displace Jake Cave (or your favorite option for a fourth outfielder.) While Gonzalez has only played center field in rare instances, having the fourth outfielder be capable of doing so on this team is not a priority, since either Kepler or Rosario would be able to slide over if needed. Gonzalez primarily played left field as an outfielder, but has spent a little time at all three positions. Overall, in the outfield, he has performed slightly better than league average in both fielding percentage and range factor, while the bat is good enough to show that he belongs in a corner outfield position. Adrianza also has a little experience in the outfield, allowing him to remain an emergency option, and Michael Reed, Zach Granite and LaMonte Wade are a short plane flight away in case of a longer-term need. Cave has options, while Adrianza doesn’t, so this may be the more likely scenario of the first two.

In this scenario, the bench would be Garver-Gonzalez-Adrianza, with Astudillo again the 13th man.

The final scenario would involve the Twins carrying thirteen hitters, but with some bad news for fans — Astudillo wouldn’t be on the 25-man roster. In this case, both Cave and Adrianza are spared a visit from the turk, for now, but we see La Tortuga relegated to Triple-A. This construction is quite possible to start the season, as teams typically don’t need a fifth starter for a couple weeks, but eventually, the Twins will likely need a thirteenth pitcher, and someone will either hit the injured list or be optioned/DFA’d.

With option number three, the Twins carry a bench of Garver-Gonzalez-Adrianza-Cave. Astudillo, Torreyes, Granite, Reed, and Wade are all available to call up if needed though.

Poll

How do the Twins make room for Gonzalez on the 25-man roster?

This poll is closed

  • 52%
    Adrianza is gone, sorry!
    (872 votes)
  • 27%
    Cave starts the year at Triple-A
    (466 votes)
  • 19%
    We are all deprived of the fun that is La Tortuga
    (329 votes)
1667 votes total Vote Now