5 key questions facing the Minnesota ...

5 key questions facing the Minnesota Twins

There are 26 comments on the TwinCities.com story from Feb 16, 2011, titled 5 key questions facing the Minnesota Twins. In it, TwinCities.com reports that:

The Twins have an awful lot of uncertainty for a team returning so many familiar faces, in large part because two of those faces - Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan - are coming back from major injuries.

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Army CPT at Fort Lee

Canton, GA

#1 Feb 16, 2011
They forgot: can wonder boy go a full season without going on the DL...
TC Florida

Cocoa Beach, FL

#2 Feb 16, 2011
I think these are the questions the Twins face However, I think the Twins did something big this offseason: Moving Hardy to commit to more speed (Nishioka and Casilla) was a significant move. I do agree that it is less dramatic than the Sox signing Dunn and Tigers Martinez, but those teams had a good bit of ground to make up in pursuit of the Twins. I still vote the Twins as prohibitive favorites to win the AL central.
Dont Key My Car

Minneapolis, MN

#3 Feb 16, 2011
Army CPT at Fort Lee wrote:
They forgot: can wonder boy go a full season without going on the DL...
Don't talk about the baby jesus like that. You'll regret it when he finds out and signs with the hated White Sox. Give him some slacks and maybe a couple days off a week so he can't injure himself before the playoffs again.
poot

Rochester, MN

#4 Feb 16, 2011
How about...Can Valencia continue to play as he did last year at third? I have my doubts. Whiteys and Tigers improve while the Twins continue to try and get by on the cheap.
CamelTow

Calgary, Canada

#5 Feb 17, 2011
The Twins offseason was a little reminiscent of the Vikings of last year...meaning they did very little, as a matter of fact, they fell backwards. The Twins, like the Vikings, rested on their laurels. The Queens made it all the way to the NFC Championship game and lost so their coach and front office figured they didn't have to do much in the offseason and well, we all know how that turned out. I see the Twins, winners of the Central did very little as well during this past offseason. They let 2 of their main relievers walk, they got rid of their entire middle infield and repalced those 2 players with 2 unproven players ( but look how much money they saved!!) so I am not as optimistic as some of you folks are. I am thinking the Twins are a 3rd place team this season, at best I might ad. Tell me what the Twins DID DO to make anyone think they can compete THIS year against the Yankees compared to seasons past?
brachiosaurus

Warwick, RI

#6 Feb 17, 2011
Neither Hardy nor Hudson did much in 2010. The Twins won't miss Hudson's .203 batting average with runners in scoring position nor all Hardy's time on the DL. Nishioka and Casilla combined shouldn't have much trouble topping Hardy and Hudson in almost every offensive category except homers. The fielding remains to be seen, but Nishioka and Casilla will cover lots more ground.

The Twins are auditioning many pitchers, and some of their AAA guys are supposed to be ready. Slama's minor league numbers are incredible, as one example. We've seen some interesting posts regarding Guerrier and Crain over the years. Twins' fans haven't spared them in their rants about blown ballgames, especially important games.

The area where the Twins seem to lack in comparison to the likely play-off bound teams is in the starting pitchers. The Twins have good starters, but they haven't had a real ace since Santana.

Over all, it should be an interesting season.
JMurf

Cedar Park, TX

#7 Feb 17, 2011
@CamelTow:
I agree that the Twins can't be satisfied with the postseason play they have put up over the years, but you have to spend intelligently, not boasfully.(See Rangers who went out and bought a 3b when they are already paying 16m/yr for one)

We did try and save money in the bullpen, but it was so we could spend on Thome, Pavano and Young. And I'd much rather have those guys back than Crain and Guerrier. Guerrier was an innings eater that was tough to lose, but not at the price he was asking. Crain is gonna be beautiful in a Sox uni, blowing games vs the Twins rather than for them.

And our middle infield didn't perform last year (see @brach 1st paragraph). I'm stoked about Yoshi and if our weakest link is Casilla we are doing just fine. And Valencia is our 8 hole....who has a .300 hitter in the 8 hole?

As for the Yankees? What did they do? Overspent on a 8th inning guy, when they could have gotten the same for 1/2 price with Kerry Wood. Signed Jeter to an inexplicable contract and lost on the Crawford and Lee sweepstakes. Their rotation is garbage after CC and maybe Hughes. We won't need to worry about them outside of the 10 games we play them, because there's a good chance they won't even be there in October.

I'm always concerned about the ChiSox and the Tigers. But they don't compete consistently, and don't have the team chemistry we do (which is HUGE in a 162 games season). Our young pitchers need a chance to grow in the majors..and they will get that chance this year. I'm really looking forward to Duensing getting a full year in, and we will have some live arms in the bullpen. Plus Liriano is just getting stronger every year removed from TJ surgery.

Anyway, I'm rambling now...point is, I'm very content with the offseason, and optimistic about 2011. Would I have liked to have signed Lee? Of course! But that didn't happen, so I guess unless you are a Phillies fan, this offseason was a total bust.
Cletis Leroy Boyer

Cottage Grove, MN

#8 Feb 17, 2011
The first question should be.
Can you play baseball in the snow?
elevate

River Falls, WI

#9 Feb 17, 2011
Miguel Cabrera of Detroit got charged with a DUI last night... great way for the Tigers to begin their push for a World Series title.

I agree completely with the chemistry idea, and as Cabrera showed in 2009 by having a domestic incident and by blowing upwards of a .25 during the last weekend of the season, chemistry seems to go a long way. Remember, despite the fact that these are grown men, they have to spend basically every day together from February through possibly November in an environment rife with egos, enormous salaries, and the press. In this sense, I'll take a group of guys like the Twins any day over most teams in the league. I'm willing to bet that the Tigers are starting their campaign pretty unhappy with their biggest star: he promised after the last time that would go to treatment and completely quit drinking.
Hussein Abdi Hassan

Webster, NY

#10 Feb 17, 2011
CamelTow wrote:
The Twins offseason was a little reminiscent of the Vikings of last year...meaning they did very little, as a matter of fact, they fell backwards. The Twins, like the Vikings, rested on their laurels. The Queens made it all the way to the NFC Championship game and lost so their coach and front office figured they didn't have to do much in the offseason and well, we all know how that turned out. I see the Twins, winners of the Central did very little as well during this past offseason. They let 2 of their main relievers walk, they got rid of their entire middle infield and repalced those 2 players with 2 unproven players ( but look how much money they saved!!) so I am not as optimistic as some of you folks are. I am thinking the Twins are a 3rd place team this season, at best I might ad. Tell me what the Twins DID DO to make anyone think they can compete THIS year against the Yankees compared to seasons past?
I hope this means that Gardy is fired this year.
brachiosaurus

Warwick, RI

#11 Feb 17, 2011
elevate wrote:
Miguel Cabrera of Detroit got charged with a DUI last night... great way for the Tigers to begin their push for a World Series title.
I agree completely with the chemistry idea, and as Cabrera showed in 2009 by having a domestic incident and by blowing upwards of a .25 during the last weekend of the season, chemistry seems to go a long way. Remember, despite the fact that these are grown men, they have to spend basically every day together from February through possibly November in an environment rife with egos, enormous salaries, and the press. In this sense, I'll take a group of guys like the Twins any day over most teams in the league. I'm willing to bet that the Tigers are starting their campaign pretty unhappy with their biggest star: he promised after the last time that would go to treatment and completely quit drinking.
Agreed and so well said: we can usually expect a fun season with the Twins, with lots of opportunity to both gripe and praise, but all on the playing field and with the good team atmosphere. Beating the arbitration deadline with Young was important. Pavano and Thome's signing says something about the Twins' organization when both players could have signed elsewhere for more money. The Twins can win the division again this season. Beyond that, the Red Sox are the team to beat in the American League.
kool aid

Minneapolis, MN

#12 Feb 17, 2011
Camel hit the nail on the head here and I agree with him 100%. I also agree with the chemistry people are talking about here, but this is professional sports and superior talent usually wins out. There are too many question's on this team right now to be optimistic. These players all have to play to their highest capabilities for us to compete this year. Here's how I look at it:
First and foremost, our rotation is average at BEST (even with pavano) and will again be exploited this year, which brings me to my next point. With half of our staff unable to get out of the fifth inning, we now turn it over to a bullpen who we have no clue who is even going to be there. As for Nathan, I think people are getting a little to excited about his progress. The facts are, the odds are against him to perform at a high level this year...no matter how good he looks in Tennessee in February.
Onto the position players. Will Joe play more than 3 games a week? Will Justin play at all? Span was a MAJOR disappointment last year in basically every way (lead off, fielder, base runner). How will Yoshi's game translate to the Major's? He's no more than a good AAA player w/ potential. Will the golden child at third be able to do it for a full season versus 2 months? We'll see.... And sorry to say, Casilla is who we thought he was. People thinking he has turned some phantom corner to be a productive everyday player in baseball need to put down the pipe. Cuddy will give us his typical .268 average with 17 dingers and 75 rbi's, not impressive for a guy making 12 mill.
This is an average team that will be lucky to win 85 games.
The Central Scrutinizer

United States

#13 Feb 17, 2011
Right now every team has great expectations- believing this is THE year. Every team's sports writers are pessimistic- picking apart every little thing they can think of so they have something to write about. In between, are all of us fans- hoping for the best and preparing for the worst. The Twins will be in the hunt all year long- they will be good enough to keep us watching all season- snow and all!
World Champions

Hastings, MN

#14 Feb 17, 2011
I am excited about the Twins this season. Justin's health is big and so is Mauer's. If these two stay healthy we have the best 3-4 combination in the league. We need everybody to shine in order to beat the Yanks and some other very good teams. Not only did we get a younger and quicker shortstop, the Twins should be able to make a killing on Japanese advertisements, especially when we are winning. Go Twins!!!!!

“Obamacs at it's finest!”

Since: Mar 09

Anytown, Minnesota........

#15 Feb 17, 2011
Hussein Abdi Hassan wrote:
<quoted text>
I hope this means that Gardy is fired this year.
never happen. Gardy is current president of the Minnesota Twins Good Ol Boys Club......
which has quite a few members by the way, none of which can or will EVER be fired, it's all part of being a "club" member. How many runners did the Twins get throw out at the plate last year? Exactly!!! Yet Ulger got to keep his job anyway, albeit a demotion to the dugout but he still got to keep his job, any other team and he would have been fired.
Waswa

San Francisco, CA

#16 Feb 17, 2011
The only question I care about is can the Twins advance beyond the ALDS, IE beat the Yankees? As the team is currently constructed, no they cant. The lack of addressing this problem this off-season disturbs me. Retaining Pavano and Thome, cutting loose 4 proven bullpen guys and re-doing your middle infield yet again don't indicate to me that this team is serious about winning the World Series. They are concerned with putting a competitive team on the field within a budget that allows the them to maximize their profits. A World Series run is secondary. They are run like a busines rather than run like a baseball team.
griddy

Saint Paul, MN

#17 Feb 17, 2011
Waswa wrote:
The only question I care about is can the Twins advance beyond the ALDS, IE beat the Yankees? As the team is currently constructed, no they cant. The lack of addressing this problem this off-season disturbs me. Retaining Pavano and Thome, cutting loose 4 proven bullpen guys and re-doing your middle infield yet again don't indicate to me that this team is serious about winning the World Series. They are concerned with putting a competitive team on the field within a budget that allows the them to maximize their profits. A World Series run is secondary. They are run like a busines rather than run like a baseball team.
If they can keep Morneau healthy, it will go a long way to overtake the Yankees. He seems to be the ONLY Twin not intimidated in the least by the Yankees - and that may bleed on to others on the team. Also, the Yankee pitching staff ain't what it used to be...

Since: Sep 08

Farmington, MN

#18 Feb 17, 2011
poot wrote:
How about...Can Valencia continue to play as he did last year at third? I have my doubts. Whiteys and Tigers improve while the Twins continue to try and get by on the cheap.
the twins will finish 3rd in the division, gardenhire will get an extension and a raise
JDM

Saint Paul, MN

#19 Feb 17, 2011
Let's set the record straight. Ron Gardenhire is a great manager and hopefully will continue to manage the Twins for years to come. Did the Twins do enough in the off season - no. I think it's time for the primo dona's (Morneau, Mauer) to man up and get tougher - so far they can't play with a scrape. Morneau took a knee to the head while wearing a helmet and misses half a season and is still a question mark? These are the guys who are getting paid the big bucks. Man Up M & M !

Since: Sep 08

Farmington, MN

#20 Feb 17, 2011
JDM wrote:
Let's set the record straight. Ron Gardenhire is a great manager and hopefully will continue to manage the Twins for years to come. Did the Twins do enough in the off season - no. I think it's time for the primo dona's (Morneau, Mauer) to man up and get tougher - so far they can't play with a scrape. Morneau took a knee to the head while wearing a helmet and misses half a season and is still a question mark? These are the guys who are getting paid the big bucks. Man Up M & M !
yuo are right about the M and M boys, however i dont think Gardenhire can be considered a great manager, his playoff record proves it

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