Twins manager Paul Molitor sat down with Darren Wolfson of KSTP and 1500 ESPN over the weekend for a 12-minute interview (video link) and discussed a number of topics, including the decision to play Miguel Sano in right field over left field, the possibility of Byron Buxton making the Opening Day roster and the team’s expected rotation. Molitor says it’s very likely that Ervin Santana, Kyle Gibson and Phil Hughes will be in the Opening Day rotation (assuming good health for each), and Tyler Duffey “has a really good chance” on the heels of a strong rookie showing, though Duffey’s inclusion is not considered a sure thing. Tommy Milone, Ricky Nolasco and Trevor May are all candidates for the fifth spot, though Molitor hinted by suggesting that May will “get a look, at least early in camp, to see how it goes, to see if that’s a better fit for him than in the bullpen,” that May’s chances might be a bit lesser. May opened last season as a starter and pitched reasonably well before turning in a very strong 2.87 ERA with 10.6 K/9 against 2.3 BB/9 in 31 1/3 reliever.
More from the AL Central…
- Manager Terry Francona is happy to see Rajai Davis wearing an Indians uniform heading into the 2016 season, writes Ryan Lewis of the Akron Beacon Journal. Cleveland’s manager tells Lewis that he joked with Davis recently that he “hated him” for the past few seasons, “because he’s been a thorn in our side.” Davis’ stolen base totals have declined in each of the past two seasons, though the fleet-footed outfielder said that part of the reason for that was hitting in front of Miguel Cabrera and not wanting to run the risk of getting caught with one of the game’s most potent bats at the plate. Francona tells Lewis that the team has similar hopes for Davis that it did following the signing of Michael Bourn. “…[I]f you can get a guy that can get on base and kind of disturb the game a little bit, that really helps a lot.”
- The White Sox and Rangers are both looking at Dexter Fowler, tweets David Kaplan of CSN Chicago. Sox GM Rick Hahn spoke over the weekend about the value of the No. 28 overall selection, which the club would have to forfeit in order to sign Fowler, however. I’d imagine that if Fowler’s asking price dipped enough, the Sox might be comfortable enough with the immediate value they’re obtaining to part with the potential longer-term value of the draft pick. The Sox do seem like a good fit for Fowler, as Jeff Todd and I recently discussed on the MLBTR Podcast. The Rangers, too, were mentioned in that discussion, and they could certainly make some sense, pushing Josh Hamilton to more of a part-time role that could possibly keep him healthier while creating more outfield depth in Texas.
- Whether or not a move is ultimately made, MLB.com’s Scott Merkin feels that the one of the takeaways from this weekend’s SoxFest event was that the White Sox are definitely still trying to get something done, be it a trade or free-agent signing (links to Twitter). “It was more than just general SoxFest talk,” says Merkin of the team’s desire to continue adding to the roster.
- MLB.com’s Jeffrey Flanagan adds some more context to his recent report that the Royals and third baseman Mike Moustakas have discussed a two-year deal to buy out his remaining arbitration years. “There’s been a couple talks about a multiyear deal, a two-year deal, also a one-year deal,” said Moustakas of talks between the Royals and his agent, Scott Boras. “We’re just trying to figure out what the best fit is for everything. They’ve been talking back and forth and trying to figure it all out. They give me the information and I go, ’Yeah, that’s all right.’ But I try to stay out of it because I love Scott and I love the Royals.” Moustakas said that a two-year deal is appealing, if possible, because he’d like to avoid “the stress of another arbitration year.” Boras and the Royals worked out a similar deal for first baseman Eric Hosmer last winter, though Hosmer will still have one more year of arbitration following the completion of that two-year deal.