I feel confident about our starting rotation; they've all impressed me during Spring Training, with each of them having only one rocky outing. They're healthy and ready, and I'm looking forward to watching them. I'm glad that Liriano took that 5th spot in the rotation; he deserved it, and I honestly feel that he'll have better success than Perkins or Duensing -- at least for now.
The bullpen is a little more iffy, but it's no reason for concern. The Twins announced that they'll go with a "closer by committee" approach. That's fine, for a while. I think they'll take a month or so to figure it out and see who shines in the role. If no one does, then they can make a trade. The middle-inning relievers will be fine, but I would kindly request that Clay Condrey get better at pitching ASAP.
I expect the offense to be improved over last year. I'm really looking forward to seeing what Hardy, Hudson, and Thome can do. And I'm especially looking forward to watching the Hardy-to-Hudson-to-Morneau double-play combo.
The so-called experts are expecting the Twins to do well too, but it won't be easy as the Tigers and White Sox are expected to be competitive as well. It'll be a battle for another division title, but it'll be fun. Usually I worry when everyone expects a lot out of the Twins, they usually tend to do better when no one's looking, but I don't buy it this time. This is the year!
So, enough of this Spring Training stuff already. I'm really looking forward to Monday when it's for real.
Mark Your Calendars:
Speaking of looking forward, keep these in mind...
- Friday, April 2 -- Predictions Day: Josh of Josh's Thoughts has called Friday "Predictions Day". He wants to see what our predictions for the upcoming season will be as far as Twins performance, standings, and success, as well as baseball-wide predictions. I hope to have a nice surprise for you on this -- the operative word being "hope." I'm not sure; no promises.
- Friday, April 2 -- Free Pat Neshek Day: Thrylos98 of Tenth Inning Stretch has also called Friday "Free Pat Neshek Day". He wants to know our thoughts about giving Pat the closer job straight up rather than go through committee. I may have a few words on this topic; we'll see if that Predictions Day thing I had planned pans out.
- Friday, April 2 and Saturday, April 3 -- Exhibition Games at Target Field: Ok, no, I do not have plans to attend these, as much as I wish I could. There are still tickets available, but they're the expensive ones, and now's not a good time financially (stuff all around my house is breaking down and needing replacing -- don't you hate that?). I fully expect great pictures and stories from all you who do go.
- Saturday, April 10 -- TwinsCentric Viewing Party II: Another great viewing party is planned at Major's in Blaine starting at noon. I'm planning on being there. I really hope to see everyone there. It'll be fun.