The Twins Opening Day 30-man roster has been released ahead of the team’s first regular season game against the Chicago White Sox on Friday.
With 15 pitchers and 15 position players, along with a few on the injured list and the taxi squad, Minnesota has its roster set for play. With a few changes still expected to happen, here’s a look at what the 30-man roster looks like ahead of the first game of the season.
Comprising half of the active roster now, Minnesota’s pitching staff looks relatively as expected. Many of the younger pitchers expected to make it to opening day have, including Cody Stashak, Randy Dobnak, Lewis Thorpe and Devin Smeltzer.
A few notable cuts include Dakota Chalmers, Jhoan Duran and Sean Poppen. Though Jorge Alcala is currently on the taxi squad along with left hander Caleb Thielbar, both have the potential to move off that list with the eventual addition of Jake Odorizzi to the active roster when he returns from injury.
Odorizzi will open the season on the 10-day Injured List as of Thursday, but it is retroactive to Monday. He will miss his first start of the season, which would have likely come in one of the three games against the White Sox as the second or third starter for the Twins. Odorizzi is slated to have quite an impact in the starting rotation this season, like he did in 2019. If his right intercostal strain takes longer than just the 10-day stint on the IL, the Twins rotation could be in more flux than anticipated early on this season.
As for position players, the infielders and designated hitter are as expected. Josh Donaldson at third, Jorge Polanco at shortstop, Luis Arraez at second and Miguel Sano at first. Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza back those four up as utility players, and in Gonzalez’s case, a utility outfielder as well.
The Twins might not need Gonzalez in the outfield, though, with the extensive collection of six players they have slated there for the opening day roster. Aside from the everyday players in Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler, Minnesota included Jake Cave, LaMonte Wade Jr., and Aaron Whitefield in the bunch. This is not entirely surprising as Buxton is not expected to play in the opening game against the White Sox on Friday, and potentially in the first series at all. With his health status in the air, it makes sense for the Twins to carry more outfielders to fill that gap.
If Gonzalez doesn’t get the nod in right field for Friday’s game with Kepler in center, it could be Cave to make the start in center in place of Buxton.
While the Twins are set at catcher, utility man and backup catcher, Willians Astudillo was left off the roster as he is still on the 10-day IL, as he has been since July 4. With Mitch Garver and Alex Avila as the only MLB catchers on the roster, an injury to either would force Tomas Telis of the taxi squad into an every other/third day role. To have Astudillo in that spot would give more MLB-ready certainty to the catcher position for the Twins, who don’t have time to experiment this season, just like every other team.