Eddie Rosario began last season as the Twins' starting left fielder after a promising rookie year, but was sent to Triple-A in May after hitting just .200 with a .532 OPS. He bounced back there with an .881 OPS and returned to the majors in July. He then hit .305 with seven home runs and an .812 OPS over his last 60 games before a fractured thumb ended his season in mid-September. Rosario has promising power and decent speed, which gives him the potential to be an above-average defender. He is 16-for-24 (66.6 percent) on the bases against big league batteries, so he is not a major threat in that department, but will chip in a handful of steals over a full season. Unfortunately he doesn't draw walks (3.4 percent of plate appearances) and strikes out too often (25.7 percent). At age 25, he could improve significantly and add more consistency if he shows better command of the strike zone, and he's expected to begin the year with the starting left field job.
Rosario is expected to start Friday's Grapefruit League game, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Star Tribune reports. Like teammate Kennys Vargas, Rosario represented Team Puerto Rico during its run to the finals of the World Baseball Classic, though Rosario played much more frequently. The left fielder compiled a respectable 6-for-19 run with five RBI and two stolen bases during the international tournament. Rosario boasts some fantasy sleeper appeal because he contributes adeptly in home runs and stolen bases, though every other category remains tenuous because of the Twins' potentially erratic lineup and his own shaky plate discipline.
Rosario entering Opening Day as the starting left fielder is "a fairly good assumption," according to Twins manager Paul Molitor, Rhett Bollinger of MLB.com reports. The 25-year-old has pieced together useful fantasy stretches over the past two years, notably last season after tearing up Triple-A following a demotion to Rochester. Rosario hit .305 with seven home runs and an .812 OPS after being called back up before a broken thumb cost him the last few weeks of the season. His woeful plate discipline leaves his batting average volatile, but the lefty hitter boasts the potential for double-digit home runs and stolen bases that, depending on his playing time, could help deep mixed fantasy players.
Rosario (thumb) will begin playing in the Puerto Rican Winter League next week, Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. There were some reports that Rosario might not be able to get into winter ball action in an effort to keep him ready for the World Baseball Classic, but it seems like his thumb got back to full health quickly enough that the Twins feel comfortable deploying him already. Barring any extraneous circumstances, the 25-year-old appears to be lined up as the Twins' starting left fielder heading into spring training.
Rosario's fractured left thumb is healing well enough that he's considering playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic, the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports. Rosario isn't expected to be cleared to play in time for the Puerto Rican Winter League, but it looks like he'll be ready to play when the WBC begins in early March. Rosario fractured his left thumb while sliding in a game on Sept. 17. He'll enter spring training as the favorite to start the year as the Twins' starting left fielder.
Rosario (thumb) is out of the lineup Tuesday against Detroit. He was set to have his left thumb examined Monday for a possible fracture, but the results of those tests have not yet been revealed. Robbie Grossman will start in left field and hit third Tuesday.