Aaron Hicks will be the Twins’ starting center fielder and leadoff hitter on Opening Day.
Manager Ron Gardenhire announced the move to reporters following the team’s 14-5 Spring Training game win against the Blue Jays Sunday.
“I think it’s a pretty simple decision,” manager Ron Gardenhire said via 1500 ESPN Twin Cities. “Hicks is going to be our center fielder. I don’t think it’s a shocking announcement by any means.”
Despite Gardenhire’s opinion, the announcement is a bit surprising. Minnesota could save an extra season of pre-free agency control if they sent Hicks to Triple-A for a month or two.
The team’s decision to trade Denard Span and Ben Revere this offseason has so far turned out to be a great move. Hicks, 23, arguably has a much bigger upside than both Span and Revere.
Even though starting pitcher Vance Worley— acquired from Phillies in Revere trade—has struggled in Spring Training so far, his addition will be an improvement to the team’s starting rotation this season.