Robbie Grossman was the surprise winner of the Twins' DH job last spring, and while his impressive on-base skills give him a relatively high floor, he lacks the impact potential typically associated with that position. His 14.7 percent walk rate ranked seventh in the majors among hitters with at least 450 plate appearances, leading to .361 OBP, which ranked 46th out of 181 hitters. However, he adds just modest power (career .125 ISO) and also declined in the second half of last season (.699 OPS). In addition to his below-average power, he also happens to be a below-average defensive outfielder. Essentially, his bat doesn't play at DH and his glove doesn't play anywhere. The switch hitter has a career 109 wRC+ against lefties, so if the Twins decide to relegate Max Kepler (career 36 wRC+ against southpaws) to a strict platoon, Grossman could start in the outfield against lefties. However, given his defensive deficiencies, the front office probably won't be satisfied with that setup for long.
Grossman agreed to a one-year, $2 million deal with the Twins on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Robert Murray of FanRag Sports reports. This was his first year as an arbitration-eligible player, and Grossman received a nearly $1.5 million bump from his 2017 salary. The outfielder/DH slashed just .246/.361/.380 with nine home runs and 45 RBI in 119 games last season, and could wind up being a fourth outfielder that provides spot starts for this upcoming season. Although Grossman was able to find his way on base due to a high walk rate (14.7 percent), he isn't able to mash like a typical designated hitter and lacks the defensive capabilities to be an everyday outfielder, which obviously limits his value.
Grossman is out of the lineup Sunday against the Tigers, LaVelle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports. Grossman had a great showing Saturday, as he went 2-for-3 with three RBI and a run scored. Since returning from a thumb injury Sept. 5, he's slashed .292/.379/.563 over 16 games. He'll take a seat Sunday while Joe Mauer moves to designated hitter.
Grossman is not in the lineup for Wednesday's game against the Yankees, Mike Berardino of the Pioneer Press reports. Grossman heads to the bench following an 0-for-4 day at the plate during Tuesday's defeat. In his place, Joe Mauer will occupy the DH spot while Kennys Vargas draws the assignment at first.
Grossman is not in the lineup Friday for the second day in a row. Manager Paul Molitor wanted to give Joe Mauer a lighter load Thursday and Mitch Garver a start Friday, and both were slotted in as the designated hitter at Grossman's expense. Grossman is 9-for-24 (.375) since returning from the disabled list, so it seems likely he will be back in action Saturday following his two-day break.
Grossman is not in the lineup for Thursday's game against Toronto. Grossman will occupy a spot on the bench following a pair of starts, including an 0-for-4 day at the plate during Wednesday's victory. In his place, Joe Mauer gets a night off from the field and will handle the DH duties while Kennys Vargas mans first.