2010 MLB Season Preview: Minnesota Twins

>> Sunday, March 14, 2010

It’s kind of hard to imagine that just a few seasons ago the Twins were a candidate for contraction. Now in 2010 they open a new ball park. Of course giving up the confines of the Homer Dome is one of the big questions facing this team, which will feel like they are in limbo until they can get catcher Joe Mauer’s autograph on a big phat contract extension. They have Mauer for this year, and they might have to make a serious run at a title to keep him.

I cannot believe that they are going to play baseball outside in Minnesota in early April, or late fall. The Twins have given up one of their key advantages, they knew how to play in the dome and hit very well there. I cannot imagine, balls flying out of the new park in frigid air like they did in the dome.

While we wait for Mauer to re-up with this team, Twins fans have more anxiety over pitcher Francisco Liriano. Will he be back? Will he resemble the pitcher he was in 2006? He did put on a clinic in Winter Ball, but he was terrible last year and the Twins may need his arm to be considered legitimate World Series contenders.

The last concern for Twins fans is whether or not their bull pen is an elite unit? Closer Joe Nathan struggled late in 2009, and recently suffered a possible season-ending injury last week during a Spring Training game. Two other pitchers in the Twins bullpen are also recovering from off season surgery. However they do have late season edition Jon Rauch for the entire 2010 campaign.
Projected lineup

1. CF Denard Span
2. 2B Orlando Hudson
3. C Joe Mauer
4. 1B Justin Morneau
5. RF Michael Cuddyer
6. DH Jason Kubel
7. LF Delmon Young
8. SS J.J. Hardy
9. 3B Brendan Harris

SP: Scott Baker
SP: Carl Pavano
SP: Nick Blackburn
SP: Kevin Slowey
SP: Francisco Liriano

CP: Jon Rauch or Matt Guerrier (Pending Joe Nathan injury)