Hello Twins fans! The season is almost here. I thought I’d share with you some of my thoughts heading into Friday’s season opener at Baltomore.
I think the biggest thing different from last year is the club is more prepared. Last year, for of our regulars didn’t play in spring training games until like mid way through. In fact, Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau didn’t play in a regular spring training game until like 10 days before the season opened. Also, we don’t have a shortstop in Tsyoshi Nishioka who looks like he’s lost in a storm.
Rather, we’re heading into a season where Morneau and Mauer have played in most of the spring training games. They both appear to be ready for the season. The only minor concern I’d have is Morneau’s concussion symptoms flaring up again, but the fact that manager Ron Gardenhire has stated that Morneau will be the DH most of the time for the time being makes it seems that this will be less likely.
The biggest concern I have heading into the season is our starting pitching. Both Scot Baker and Jason Marquis will not be with the club to start the season. Marquis has missed the past couple of weeks to tend to his daughter who was injured in a bike accident. I think that with a couple of starts at New Britain, Marquis will be ready for the season.
Baker is the one I’d worry about more. His elbow has been giving him trouble again this spring. Last ssummer, he went on the Disabled List due to elbow soreness. And, of course he’s had elbow problems in the past. I wouldn’t be totally surprised if Baker’s not with the club by mid April.
and, of course we don’t know what we’re going to get from Fransisco Liriano this season. This spring he pitched to an ERA of 2.33. Will Liriano be over thinking his pitches this season? We’ll see.
One thing I think the fans should watch to start the season is how will Gardy use his bench. For one thing, I don’t really think a starting right fielder has actually been finalized. I think it will end up being a platoon type situation between Ryan Doumit, Ben Revere and Trevor Plouffe. A few days ago, I would have said that Plouffe will be getting the majority of the playing time in right, but the fact that he missed several spring training games due to a sore hamstring makes me wonder if Plouffe might spend more time on the bench for now.
Also, the Twins only have two catchers on their big league club to start the season. Gardy may not want to play Doumit as much in the outfield. However, at the same time you have Revere and Plouffe on the bench to take over in right if Mauer was to be injured in a game when both catchers are in the field.
Well folks, it’s time for me to wrap it up. Twins baseball is less than 48 hours away. So, let’s play ball!