Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The post-Willingham lineup

Monday's trade of Josh Willingham certainly clarified the likely lineup -- at least until the possibility of September call-ups.

Joe Mauer came off the disabled list Monday to claim Willingham's roster spot. He and Kennys Vargas figure to split first base and designated hitter, probably with Mauer getting the bulk of the first-base time.

Oswaldo Arcia (current sore back permitting) should be a fixture in right field. Kurt Suzuki and Eric Fryer will handle the catching, Trevor Plouffe third base and Brian Dozier second base.

The remaining three positions -- shortstop, center field and left field -- will be divided among Danny Santana (center or short), Eduardo Escobar (short), Chris Parmelee (left) and Jordan Schafer (left or center).

This leaves a bench of Eduardo Nunez, whichever catcher isn't starting and whichever of the outfield-shortstop nexus isn't starting.

I told Jim Gullickson in my radio appearance earlier Monday that the Twins didn't appear to have the same imperative to move Willingham that they did with Kevin Correia. Correia blocking younger talent in the rotation. Willingham wasn't. If Willingham were playing ahead of a healthy Arcia or Vargas, that would be a problem.

It never got to that point, and now it won't.

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