Projecting the Twins' first round playoff roster and Game 1 lineup

Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson, Jorge Polanco
Minnesota Twins’ Byron Buxton, center, celebrates his winning RBI-single off Detroit Tigers pitcher Jose Cisnero with Josh Donaldson, left, and Jorge Polanco in the ninth inning of a baseball game Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020, in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)

The Twins have to set their postseason roster for their first round series against the Astros by 10 a.m. Tuesday. Here’s a best guess at what they’ll do.

Pitchers (14)


Kenta Maeda
Jose Berrios
Michael Pineda


Rich Hill (starter pitching out of the ‘pen)
Jake Odorizzi (starter pitching out of the ‘pen)
Tyler Duffey
Tyler Clippard
Matt Wisler
Trevor May
Taylor Rogers
Sergio Romo
Cody Stashak
Caleb Thielbar
Jorge Alcala
Note: It’s possible Odorizzi (injury) and/or Hill (93 pitches Sunday) get left off. In that case, the Twins are likely to turn to Devin Smeltzer and Randy Dobnak. Dobnak has been the more effective pitcher this year, but the Twins called up Smeltzer over Dobnak Saturday to serve as a long man.

Hitters (14)

Nelson Cruz
Byron Buxton
Josh Donaldson
Jorge Polanco
Eddie Rosario
Max Kepler
Luis Arraez
Miguel Sano
Ryan Jeffers
Marwin Gonzalez
Mitch Garver
Jake Cave
Ehire Adrianza
Willians Astudillo
Note: If both Buxton and Donaldson can’t go, LaMonte Wade Jr. and Travis Blankenhorn would be next in line. Wade Jr. was sent down recently, but could join the playoff roster as an injury replacement. Astudillo makes sense because he can serve as both a third catcher and emergency backup for Donaldson and Arraez if their injuries force them out of the game.

Projected Game 1 Lineup

1. Byron Buxton (CF)
2. Josh Donaldson (3B)
3. Nelson Cruz (DH)
4. Eddie Rosario (LF)
5. Max Kepler (RF)
6. Jorge Polanco (SS)
7. Miguel Sano (1B)
8. Luis Arraez (2B)
9. Ryan Jeffers (C)
Note: If Buxton is inactive, Jake Cave would likely replace him and bat near the bottom of the lineup. If Donaldson is inactive, Marwin Gonzalez or Ehire Adrianza would be in line to fill in, batting 8th or 9th.