Since Christian Guzman left the Minnesota Twins in 2004, shortstop has been a revolving door. J.J. Hardy had a solid year in 2010, but was replaced by Tsuyoshi Nishioka in 2011–the next best thing from Japan.
In reality, Nishioka was terrible, and probably ended up costing ex GM Bill Smith his job. The Twins hope the Pedro Florimon can provide a steady hand at the crucial position.
GM Terry Ryan has suggested that the shortstop job is Florimon’s to lose. That’s partly because the 26-year old is pretty slick with the leather, and partly because the Twins don’t have many other options at the position. Brian Dozier, who played above-average defense but was mediocre at the plate, played well enough last year that the Twins seem content with him being their everyday second baseman. Jamey Carroll was steady up the middle, but the 39 year-old is not a long-term answer for the club. Eduardo Escobar came over in a trade and sported a 1.000 fielding percentage in 47 attempts, but struggled mightily at the plate.
The Twins seem to have seen enough in Florimon to move forward with him at short in 2013. We’ll have to wait and see if he becomes a long-term answer, or if the Twins will continue to shuffle different bodies through the middle-infield.
It should be noted that as it stands, the Twins infield appears to be offensively inept. Their opening day infield sported an average BA of .238 in 2012. While Florimon and Dozier can earn their spots by flashing their leather, they’ll both need to take strides at the plate to show they can be serviceable hitters at the Major League level.