April 3, 2009

Twins Rundown: April 3, 2009

The Twins writers over at Baseball Digest continue to give their predictions for the upcoming season. Today, we give our predictions for the Playoffs and World Series. It's only appropriate that 4/5 writers had the Minnesota Twins winning the A.L. Central. Make sure to check out to see who we predict to win the other divisions and better yet, who we predict to win the World Series.

A week ago I was feeling really comfortable about the season starting soon (in terms of player readiness, health, etc.), but the injuries just don't seem to quit! I say they call up all the Minor Leaguer's from across the Lee County Sports Complex to play these next two games and send home all the position players a couple days early. What do you think? Luckily most of the injuries are minor, but I'm no longer feeling as comfortable as I was a week ago.

The Twins announced yesterday morning that Opening Day starter Scott Baker has been placed on the disabled list with a 'stiff shoulder.' At first I thought this was some lame day-after April Fools joke, but it turned out to be true. Taking his place next Monday when the Twins face the Mariners will be Francisco Liriano who says that he's prepared. The Twins expect Baker to be ready to come off the DL when he's eligible on April 12th. At least he'll only miss one to two starts.

With Scott Baker now out of the rotation, the Twins needed a starter to take his place in the rotation. The team informed right-hander R.A. Dickey that he made the team and will open the season in the rotation. After reading this article, it's hard not to feel happy for him. Despite having 378+ innings under his belt at the Major League level, he still seems as excited as a rookie about making the team. Hopefully this can be a new beginning for Dickey who has yet to post an ERA under 5.09 at the Major League level. The Twins have longed for a knuckle-baller in the Metrodome, and despite this being their last year inside, they finally got one. And did I mention, he's a medical mystery?

The Twins now have a hard decision to make. Carry 11 pitchers? Or 12? Throughout most of Spring, the general consensus has been that the Twins will carry 12 pitchers after camp breaks. But with players seemingly getting hurt on a daily basis, the Twins are may now begin swaying the other way and could carry an extra position player instead. Matt Tolbert, Brian Duensing and Philip Humber are all still vying for spots on the roster. Tolbert has been great this Spring and is known to be a favorite of Manager Ron Gardenhire's. Humber seems to be a lock for a spot on the roster since he's currently out of minor league options, so that could mean that Duensing gets the boot. But the Twins prefer carrying two left-handed relievers, which is what Duensing gives them. My bet is that Duensing gets the spot.

Good news! Joe Mauer hit off of a tee yesterday, but was still placed on the 15-day DL. He also played catch and hopes to catch soon. The Twins are hopeful Mauer will return to the Twins before the end of April.

Here's a good article on new Twins third baseman Joe Crede. I for one am still really excited about the Twins signing him. I am not getting my hopes up that he'll hit 30 home runs, but I do think he'll prove his worth defensively for the Twins.

Seth Stohs of Seth Speaks posted a great Q&A with Glen Perkins today. I've read the majority of his player Q&A's (give me a break, seems like there are hundreds!) but I have to say this one ranks up there with one of my favorites. Perkins has a great personality which he shows in the interview. And speaking of Perkins, make sure to check out his blog called Perk's Place.

The Twins have announced some art murals for the new stadium. They also announced a new promotion that could save Twins fans money every Monday at home games.

Finally, the Twins have given us great TV commercials in the past. And they’ve done it again. Make sure to check out the newest commercial featuring Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and Twins mascot TC.

This can also be read at Baseball Digest.com