Minnesota Twins Opening Lineup for 2022



Will Schiffler

The Minnesota Twins started their season on April 8, 2022, and they have not been an impressive baseball club to start the season. Minnesota sits at the bottom of the American League Central division with a 4-7 record. Minnesota opened up their season at home against the Seattle Mariners, who are supposed to be one of the worst teams in the MLB this season. Minnesota finished the four-game series at Target Field, going 2-2 after losing the first two games of the series. Minnesota went into the season with a starting pitching rotation of:

Sonny Gray, Joe Ryan, Dylan Bundy, Bailey Ober, and Chris Archer. With the upgrades to their starting rotation over the off-season, the Twins expect their rotation to be much more durable than the previous few seasons. 

Along with the pitching rotation, Minnesota has excellent talent on the field and in the batting order. The Twins acquired catcher Gary Sanchez from the New York Yankees before the start of the season. Sanchez will be the starting catcher for the Twins throughout the season. This season Sanchez has hit for a .242 batting average in nine games. The primary first baseman for the Twins is Miguel Sano, who has started the season in a big slump. Sano went hitless in his first 19 at-bats to start the season. Last season, Jorge Polanco moved over as the second baseman after playing multiple seasons at shortstop for the Twins. The switch hitter has a batting average of .205 this season in 11 contests for Minnesota. The biggest acquisition for the Twins this offseason was signing shortstop Carlos Correa. Correa played for the Houston Astors for seven seasons, where he won a World Series. Minnesota inked Carlos Correa to a three-year deal for $105.3 million with an AVV of $35.1 million. Minnesota will rely on Correa’s exceptional defensive play at shortstop during this season and his sensational batting. So far, Correa has a .184 batting average with the Twins and only one home run. Another acquisition this offseason for the Twins was acquiring third baseman Gio Urshela from the New York Yankees. Urshela has fit in comfortably with the Twins protecting the left side of the infield with Correa. Urshela has a batting average of .290. Minnesota has the 15th overall draft pick from the 2016 MLB draft starting in left field for them this season. The highly anticipated prospect is still adjusting to the MLB during his second season for the Twins. In five games this season, Alex Kirilloff has not performed well in the batter’s box, with a batting average of .059 to start the year. This season, the Minnesota Twins’ most popular returning player is center fielder Byron Buxton, who is poised to have a breakout season. Last season, Buxton had a batting average of .306 during the shortened season, and Buxton has caught the eye as a dark horse to win the American League MVP. Currently, Buxton is sitting out with a minor knee injury where there was no structural damage, according to a MRI. Buxton will be out of the lineup for a week or two, and the Twins will miss him in the lineup, where he has had a batting average of .250 and three home runs in seven games. Starting the year in right field is fan-favorite Max Kepler, who is playing his eighth season for the Twins. After a down season last year, Kepler looks to respond with a big season. This year, Kepler has an average of .167 and one home run in 11 games. Finally, Minnesota’s best hitter on the season, playing as a designated hitter and a utility player in the field, is Luis Arraez. Arraez has been an exceptional hitter for the Twins, with a career batting average of .313 in 255 games. Arraez has been a dynamic player on the field and a patient batter who has continued to perform while batting. 

The Minnesota Twins’ recent lack of performance as a team will need to turn around sooner rather than later if they want to get back to the playoffs with a well-rounded roster. Currently, Minnesota is in a three-game series against division rival Kansas City Royals, where they will look to start climbing their way back in the AL Central division.