With high hopes of repeating their 2010 success as AL Central Champions, the Minnesota Twins seem to be taking a gamble at a couple crucial infield positions.
The team’s current depth chart lists the starting 2B as newly acquired Tsuyoshi Nishioka and the team’s starter at SS is long-entrenched prospect Alexi Casilla. Behind Casilla at short happens to be one T. Nishioka, while the second player at 2B goes by A. Casilla.
At first glance, this seems to be an incredibly daring risk for a team that has consistently made the playoffs the past ten years. However, don’t expect this to be the same depth-chart the Twins draw up once April rolls around.
Currently the team has the enviable position of watching two well-qualified starters in Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn battle for the fifth starting spot in the rotation. Whichever one catches Manager Ron Gardenhire’s fancy, look for the other to be swiftly dealt for either veteran infield help or another prospect to challenge the two incumbents.
Although too much depth is never an issue on a baseball team, the Twins also have fast-rising Kyle Gibson waiting in the wings for a chance at the starting rotation. Expect the team to part ways with either Blackburn or Slowey near the end of spring training to bolster what is currently a very thin middle infield.