At this point, I'm not certain how regular of a thing this will be, but I got a decent response for a January mailbag of Twins questions. With a few to kick things off, the hope would be that this sparks continued discussion in the future. Feel free to leave questions in the comments section below for use in future mailbag offerings.
For now, let's get into it. Here's a four-bagger of Twins questions to end the month of January:
In 2017, I think I've been pretty bullish on Byungho Park. I'm not sold that his 2016 was entirely an acclimation problem, and believe that his wrist issue was more than he let on. I'd really love to tab Zach Granite as the breakout or surprise star, and think he has the ability to help this club immediately. In reality, if Minnesota can get just a little more from guys like Sano and Buxton, this team will be in a lot better shape.@tlschwerz Any surprise/breakout stars? Comeback players? And who or what will completely tank in 2017?— Mark McGinty (@realMarkMcGinty) January 23, 2017
I really see Perkins and Hughes as two entirely different scenarios. Glen had surgery on his shoulder, and he literally needed his labrum to be reattached to the bone. Given his age and severity of the injury, I'd be far from shocked if he never pitched again, or at least failed to be even a glimmer of his former self. I think Hughes should return with a clean bill of health, and while Thoracic Outlet surgery isn't foolproof, I'd guess we can count on him out of the gate.@tlschwerz are the injuries to Perkins and Hughes going to linger into this coming season.— (((Pace))) (@PW_Mpls) January 23, 2017
For me, there's no more important player for the Twins than Byron Buxton. He's the Golden Boy prospect that needs to round out into that. If his September 2016 was real, this team will be significantly improved because of it. I do like Phil Hughes to right the ship on the mound, and I think there's some real appeal to having Tyler Duffey pitch out of the bullpen. Heck, if Molitor wants to commit to a full on platoon for Joe Mauer, I'd be far from surprised if he batted over .300 against righties only.@tlschwerz List 2 or 3 Twins that need a resurgence in order for the club to have a bounce-back type season. I go Gibson, Hughes, Rosario.— Terry Anderson (@nater79a) January 23, 2017
Heading into Spring Training, the Twins have a few options to make room on the 40 man. I know Buddy Boshers had a strong 2016, but I don't think he's much of anything more than a guy that can be replaced by a handful of arms capable of at least the same level of effectiveness. If you want to go with a position player though, I'd have very little hesitancy about keeping Danny Santana. He can't play anywhere on the field well defensively, and he's proven nothing at the plate.@tlschwerz If the Twins were to claim a player off waivers, who would be the player they'd most likely designate for assignment?— Tom Froemming (@BaseballByTom) January 23, 2017