Here's the Twins' 2024 Opening Day roster

March 28th, 2024

KANSAS CITY -- The Twins' position player group has been set for a long while -- and now, finally, the pitching staff is complete, too.

The Twins formally selected the contract of non-roster invitee Daniel Duarte on Thursday to add him to both their 26-man and 40-man rosters, rewarding his vastly improved performance this spring with a spot in the club's depleted bullpen, which could provide opportunity for not only Duarte, but also the younger arms who made the team to prove themselves in games that matter.

That depletion comes from injuries and IL stints for Jhoan Duran (right oblique strain), Justin Topa (left knee tendinitis), Caleb Thielbar (left hamstring strain) and Josh Staumont (left calf strain), with further clarity on sidelined starter Anthony DeSclafani (right elbow strain) likely to come later this weekend.

Here's the group with which the Twins will begin their American League Central title defense:

Catcher (2): ,
The Twins were extremely fortunate to need only these two catchers to make it through the entirety of last season -- and they're both back. The only change is that Jeffers is now the clear number-one guy after he led all catchers with a 138 wRC+ last season, though they should once again split time close to evenly.

First base (2): ,
Manager Rocco Baldelli has said that the better defensive first baseman will get the majority of the defensive looks there, and that's Santana, who comes with the added bonus of being a switch-hitter. Kirilloff could get more looks in at designated hitter and in the corner outfield, and could push for more if he continues his performance from a highly productive spring.

Second base (1):
Julien had one of the club's most productive springs ahead in his place as the strong side of the second-base platoon alongside Kyle Farmer. Entering his sophomore season coming off a highly productive (136 wRC+) rookie campaign, Julien's extremely discerning eye gives him a high floor, with the demonstrated power potential for much, much more.

Shortstop (1):
The heel that bothered Correa last season did not appear to be a factor this camp, as the shortstop had a normal, healthy buildup into what’s expected to be everyday action. Farmer will be the primary backup here.

Third base (1):
Mr. Grand Slam had a big spring as he went through arguably the most “normal” buildup into a season he’s ever had, with one position as his defensive focus and full health from start to finish. The Twins will count on him for a lot from the heart of their lineup.

Outfield (4): , , ,
The Twins really couldn’t have asked for more from Buxton’s health and performance, and he's poised to enter the regular season as healthy as he has been in three years. Wallner had a rough spring, but his solid 2023 performance bought him plenty of leeway to work out some mechanical adjustments.

Utility (2): ,
Farmer will serve as half of the second-base platoon, the primary backup at all infield positions and the primary right-handed bat off the bench. Castro will remain Mr. Do-It-All at all positions but catcher and first base.

Starting pitchers (5): , , , ,
With DeSclafani down and perhaps unlikely to throw a pitch for the Twins, they'll rely heavily on Varland from the get-go, and the relative lack of starting pitching depth behind this group could be an important storyline for the Twins this season. The next line of defense likely starts with Simeon Woods Richardson and Brent Headrick, with top prospect David Festa likely to enter the fold at some point -- but none of them are close to proven at this level.

Relief pitchers (8): , , , , , , ,
It's a good thing the Twins bolstered their bullpen depth so aggressively this offseason, because the relief corps was slammed by injuries this spring, with Duran, Thielbar, Topa and Staumont all starting the season on the IL -- though Thielbar and Topa could be back sooner rather than later.

That means they'll start with a leverage corps of Stewart, Jax, Okert and Jackson, with Funderburk, Sands and Alcala also securing roster spots. Duarte was the last man onto the roster after a spring in which he appeared to rein in his noted control issues, with 12 strikeouts and no walks in 12 1/3 innings. How will these guys be ordered? It's anyone's guess, and time to find out.