In an offseason of many additions and extensions by the Minnesota Twins, they made one final signing after the start of Spring Training. Back on February 25th, the Twins signed Marwin Gonzalez to a two-year deal worth $21 million. González figured to be an ultra-utility player that would be in the lineup most of the games in various spots around the field, giving players a day off as needed. However, a little more than a week later, news broke that Miguel Sano would not be on the Opening Day roster due to a heel laceration. González had become the Twins’ interim starting third baseman with a couple bench players, namely Ehire Adrianza and Willians Astudillo, filling in on occasion.
With this in mind along with the offensive numbers the Twins have put up so far this season, has the signing been worth it? González seems to have fallen behind with his bat compared to the rest of the team. Right now, González sits dead last among qualifying Twins players (2 plate appearances per game played by the Twins per baseball-reference.com) in batting average (.206) and slugging percentage (.280) while second-to-last in on-base percentage (.286), ahead of only Eddie Rosario. He’s notched only nine RBI, also last among the main starters, and even behind Jason Castro, who’s started almost as half as many games as González. On the bright side, he has the only stolen base on the team outside of Byron Buxton.
Comparing González’s numbers from March and April of this season to his overall March/April batting stats, he has also seen a drop from his typical numbers. In his career during March and April, a total of seven seasons (not including this season), González has batted to a triple-slash of .241/.299/.413 with 13 homers and 45 RBI; this averages out to .242/.289/.411 with 1.86 homers and 6.43 RBI per season. This season in March and April combined, he’s hit to a paltry .167/.244/.256, but with two homers and seven RBI, which is a tad above his averages from the past seven season.
In comparison, we can take a look at Sanó’s and Adrianza’s career stats from March and April. Sanó has hit to a .254/.365/.504 line while mashing 15 homers and 50 RBI over three seasons (288 PAs) while Adrianza has hit a triple-slash of .204/.281/.315 with only two homers and seven RBI over four seasons (124 PAs). To add to Adrianza’s stats, he had 42 plate appearances this season during the first month-plus of the season and hit to a .176/.293/.265 line with a home run and two RBI.
González’s low offense numbers could be attributed to a late start in Spring Training as he was signed a couple weeks into this season’s camp and his career month-by-month stats suggest that he should definitely improve in the next few months. If the Twins did not sign González this off-season, Adrianza could have been the same, if maybe a bit better with his bat and starting at third base while Sanó rehabs from his injury and more playing time could have been given to Astudillo as well, adding to the offense even more.
However, González seems to be meeting expectations at the plate as the aforementioned super-utility player off the bench – just filling in at a position before one of the Twins’ possible cornerstones of the team returns from injury.
All stats came from baseball-reference.com.