Aaron Hicks rejoined the Twins on Friday and was immediately returned to the starting lineup. Byron Buxton sat.
We'll see how Paul Molitor juggles playing time now with four presumably regular outfielders -- Buxton, Hicks, Torii Hunter and Eddie Rosario. My belief is that the team will be better off if Hunter sits and the three 20-somethings play, but as I've said before, the Twins have a substantial emotional investment in Hunter. They signed him to be at the center of the team, and they're not likely to push him aside completely in the final month.
Molitor has said that if Buxton is in the lineup, he's playing center field. That's the right call. Presumably Hicks will be the play-around guy.
Hicks: Whichever position is open.
My guess is that the two highest priorities to play will be Rosario and Hicks, who have the best hitting numbers on the season.
The guy who's pretty much guaranteed to lose playing time is Shane Robinson, who has been getting consistent time in left field when Hunter sits, with Rosario shifting to right field. Now it''s going to take sitting two "regulars" to get Robinson in the lineup.
Robinson, incidentally, has already set career highs in at-bats, runs scored and hits. He has almost no power, but his batting average and on-base percentage are better than Hunter's, and his defense is markedly better. He's a decent fourth or fifth outfielder, but the need for him this month is probably pretty light.