Catchers, Infielders and Outfielders Preview

Today, we’re doing the third in a series of blogs that previews the team. The catchers for the upcoming season will remain the same as last season with Joe Mauer behind the plate most games and Drew Butera will
be the back up. Mauer had a shaky start to the season offensively last season, but finished with a batting average of .327 with 9 HRs and 75 RBIs. I predict that Butera will be Pavano’s catcher again this season.
The infield will have a different look this season with the departures of Nick Punto, J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson from last year’s team. The Twins brought in Japanese infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Indications are that he will be the starting second baseman for the Twins, but the final decision will be made during Spring Training.
Justin Morneau will be returning to the team as the first baseman. Last
season, Morneau was leading the team in hitting at .345 with 18 HRs and 56 RBIs when he suffered a concussion on July 7 in Toronto. So far, he’s not suffered any setbacks this off season which indicates he will be playing this season.
Alexi Casilla will be starting at either second or short this season, depending on where Nishioka plays in the infield. I predict that this season could be the final season for Casilla to make an impression. He played regularly in the infield in 2008 and 2009. Do to the lack of offense, he was one of the Twins utility players last season when both Hardy and Hudson manned the middle infield spots.
Danny Valencia had a solid rookie season last year after joining the team in June. He hit for a .311 average with 7 HRs and 40 RBIs and finished third in rookie of the year voting. It is expected that Valencia will be the starting third baseman this season.
It is also expected that Matt tolbert will be the team’s utility player. Also expected the make contributions to the Twins infield will be Trevor Plouffe and Luke Hughes.
As for the outfield, it will be the same as last season. From left to right across your radio dial, the starting outfielders will be Delmon Young, Denard Span and Michael Cuddyer.
Young had a break out season with 21 HRs and 112 RBIs. Although he’s considered one of the weaker defensive players on the team, expect Young to play an important role in the team’s offense this season.
Span is the team’s lead off hitter. Last season, he had a down year offensively with a .266 average, 3 HRs and 58 RBIs. Expect Span to have a better season this year at the plate.
Cuddyer will be the team’s right fielder. Also look for Cuddyer to be what I call a super utility player because he’s known to play other spots in the field as a starter like in the case of filling in for Morneau at first for the past 2 seasons when Morneau was injured.
Other players expected to make contributions to the outfield will be DH Jason Kubel, Jason Repko and prospect Ben Revere will be up on the big league club to take the place of an injured outfielder. I don’t think Revere will be on the team to start the season if none of the other outfielders are injured, however, expect him to be for sure one of the call ups in September when Major League rosters expand.

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One Response to Catchers, Infielders and Outfielders Preview

  1. Aj Mansour says:

    Love it Troy! Keep it up buddy!

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