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2010 Twins Preview

The Minnesota Twins will play outdoors this season for the first time in nearly 30 years. And if they live up to expectations they might find out what it’ll be like to play outside in Minnesota in late October. In the off season, the Twins solidified they’re #2 spot in the batting order with all-star Orlando Hudson, and added veteran slugger Jim Thome. With the new additions and two AL MVP’s this team shouldn’t have any problems scoring runs.
The Twins are typically built on defense and pitching. But those two areas could be considered question marks this year. They’re pitching staff is still young, and could prove to be a strength. Reports on Liriano coming out of the Dominican league were great; it’s just a matter of whether that translates to the big leagues. The bullpen needs to improve over last year, and Joe Nathan needs a few big saves to regain some of the confidence he may have lost in the 2009 Yankee playoff series.
The Twins have increased their payroll, and have moved out of the small market range, and moved into the upper middle class of baseball. They are opening a new stadium, and have huge expectations going into the season. Barring injuries this team is the team to beat in the AL Central, and hopefully they have enough talent and experience now to compete with teams like the Yankees come playoff time. It will be interesting to see the weather conditions in Minnesota when the Twins open up in early April. But it would be a lot more interesting to worry about the weather conditions in early November for a potential game 7 of the World Series.

6 comments:

  1. I definitely agree that the Twins will have no problems scoring runs this year. JJ Hardy in the middle infield will also provide some extra pop the Twins haven't seen in that postion since who knows when. Ever?
    Now, the way I see it, opposing pitchers are going to have a tough time with this line up because even if they pitch around Mauer and Morneau, Kubel and Cuddyer aren't the most welcoming guys to pitch to. Although I could see any combination of those four with two being lefties and two righties. After that I still wouldn't like to pitch to Hardy and Young. If Young can continue hitting the way he was toward the end of last season this line up will be a force. I'd take Harris or Punto batting ninth any day with an offense like that because after them it's back to the top and you all know how that goes. Let's just assume Hudson is going to score some runs this year.
    Last but not least, I do agree that the starting pitching staff will need to step it up and Scott Baker will need to provide veteran leadership to this young staff not seen since the days of Brad Radke. But the Twins have always prided themselves on a good bull pen and I don't see that changing this year. Hopefully Pat Neshek can get back to his old form and help Nathan set up for what I think is going to be another 40+ save season.
    In all reality the Twins pitching staff will not have much to worry about with the run support they are sure to get. If they can even stay somewhat healthy a for the season this club is going to do some damage.

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  2. I also think JJ Hardy is going to provide some added pop the Twins haven't seen at shortstop since......
    And the way I see it, this pitching staff has nothing to worry about with the run support they are sure to be provided with.

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  3. What about Nathan? Is he slowly declining, or is did he just have a few bad outings last year in big spots?

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  4. I was thinking a lot about Nathan and at the end of last year, I was done with him. But if you look at the amount of time and money other teams like the Indians have spent trying t ofind a reliable reliever it's insane. We've got more than a reliable reliever, we've got one of the best. He's not Mariano Rivera, but no one is. Jonathan Paplebon had a terrible postseason last year too. So I think we stick with him, and he'll find it again.

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  5. How do you think Perkins will respond this year after the grievance and dust up with Gardy? I'd like to see the hometown kid win some games...

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  6. http://www.startribune.com/sports/twins/blogs/86751267.html?elr=KArksLckD8EQDUoaEyqyP4O:DW3ckUiD3aPc:_Yyc:aUycaEacyU

    Ugh...

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