Okay, it's hard to catch the fever in March, but I thought I'd discuss the Twins anyway. I was digging through some old links and was thoroughly inspired by bat-girl last season, so I've been catching up and I'm psyched. I mean, remember this moment last year?
We return from last year with lots of the same guys we had last year. Radke and Shannon Stewart were our biggest off-season losses, but I'm fairly confident in our hitting this year. Morneau and Mauer are the obvious guys, but Rondell White came through big at the end of last season, and Torii and Cuddy can certainly get the job done. I've always liked Punto, and Bartlett seems always on the verge of a breakout.
Also, Joe Mauer had some kind of owie during the preseason, which might mean he plays DH while Redmond catches. I think this could be a very good thing. Redmond is an excellent bat, but he's stuck behind the BEST bat in the majors, so why not get him on the field?
Our starting rotation is going to be a concern this year, unfortunately. Less than a year ago, we were drooling at the possibility of having Liriano and Santana in the same rotation. Not one, but TWO unhittable lefties! Since Liriano is out for the year, I guess we'll just have to settle for just having the best pitcher in baseball. Darn.
Unfortunately, the good news with our starters begins and ends with Johan. As much as Twins fans hate to admit it, we need Silva in the lineup. Yes, he had a terrible year last go around, but I think he did well in his last outing. Ponson and Ortiz don't seem like guys that I trust, but between the three of those pitchers, one will have a good season.
Of course, our young arms like Bonser and Garza really need to step it up this year. One of the pitchers in the above paragraph plans on falling off the Earth completely (Minnesota money is on Ponson), and someone else will have to come up with some innings.
And yes, I'm still a fan of starting Matt Guerrier. But I also really like the rest of our bullpen, so long as we're not afraid to go to it if a starter is struggling. Between Neshek, Rincon, Reyes, and Crain, I still think we have the best setup men in baseball. And that's not even counting our closer!
As usual, I'm predicting a World Series victory for the Twins this year. You heard it here first...in March!
Also, my mom is the best for getting opening day tickets!