Team Preview: Minnesota Twins


Team Name: Minnesota Twins
Last Years Record: 88-75
Key Losses: Dennys Reyes, Eddie Guardado
Key Additions: Joe Crede, Luis Ayala

1. What significant moves were made during the offseason?

It was a very quiet offseason for the Twins. Up until a couple weeks ago, the only significant move they’d made was signing Ayala, who is coming off a rough season and projects as a decent middle reliever. Just before the start of spring training, the Twins signed Crede, who figures to start at third base. If healthy (big “if”), Crede should provide a power boost to the bottom of the lineup while improving the team’s infield defense.

2. What are the team’s biggest strengths?

The Twins feature a great young rotation with quality arms one-through-five. Scott Baker and Francisco Liriano provide a formidable 1-2 punch and Kevin Slowey could be one of the league’s better No. 3 starters. The Twins should be very strong defensively as well. Carlos Gomez, Denard Span, Nick Punto, Crede and Joe Mauer all figure to be regular starters and are all capable of Gold Glove caliber defense.

3. What are the team’s biggest weaknesses?

An unreliable bullpen was perhaps the No. 1 culprit in the Twins’ failed run at a postseason spot last year, and little was done to address the problem during the offseason. Ayala is not good enough to turn around this bullpen’s fortunes alone. Moreover, Pat Neshek and Boof Bonser will both miss the 2009 season due to arm injuries, so the team is short on right-handed power arms. The Twins are counting on players like Matt Guerrier and Jesse Crain to step their game up.

4. What are the goals for this team?

In a wide open AL Central, the Twins will be competing for a division crown. They came within one game of the playoffs last year, and they’ve kept their young roster almost completely intact. If the rotation holds up and the bullpen can rebound while the offense performs adequately, the Twins have a very good shot at playing in October.

5. Player to Watch

Jason Kubel could be on the verge of a breakout year. The former top prospect has been improving steadily since returning from a devastating knee injury in 2006, and has been absolutely crushing the ball this spring.

Predicted Record: 90-72

From: Twinsfanatnicks