Minnesota Twins: Five potential batting lineups for 2018

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 17: Byron Buxton (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 17: Byron Buxton (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 12: Mike Napoli
ARLINGTON, TX – AUGUST 12: Mike Napoli /

Starting lineup w/o Joe Mauer

1. CF Byron Buxton

2. SS Jorge Polanco

3. 1B Miguel Sano

4. 2B Brian Dozier

5. LF Eddie Rosario

6. RF Max Kepler

7. DH Mike Napoli

8. 3B Eduardo Escobar

9. C Jason Castro

While the previous lineups stayed within the organization, this lineup uses a player not currently on the Twins roster…. 1B/DH Mike Napoli. Recently, the Star Tribune reported that Minnesota is interested in bringing Napoli to the team. In all likelihood, he’d give the Twins a veteran presence off the bench that can fill in at first base or DH.

Related Story: Mike Napoli could be a good fit with the Twins!

While Napoli struggled mightily at the plate in 2017, he still slugged 29 home runs for the Texas Rangers. In addition, he has a history with Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey after spending the 2016 season with the Cleveland Indians. In fact, he had a career year with the Indians and was an invaluable presence in the clubhouse as they came just short of winning the World Series.

Of course, 2017 was a much different story for the 36-year-old as he batted a career-low .193. Yet, he’s only a year removed from an excellent 2016 season, so he may be worth picking up on a one-year, incentive-laden deal. Given the depth of the lineup already, he shouldn’t be asked to fill a huge role either, although his presence in the clubhouse could be very influential for this team.

That being said, Miguel Sano is a good candidate to fill in at first base when Joe Mauer is given a rest day. Something he was given on a weekly basis in 2017. Not to mention, turned out quite well for the veteran first baseman. With this in mind, Sano moving over to first with Napoli or Robbie Grossman slotting in as the DH is a good bet.