Wednesday, March 5, 2008

MLB Preview: Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins Last season: 79-83, .488, 17 GB in AL Central 2008 Outlook: The Twins made wholesale changes before Spring Training. Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer and catcher Joe Mauer remain the heart of the lineup, but there are lost so new regulars and the pitching staff will have many new faces. Thus, the Twins are rebuilding and not likely to finish much better than .500 in '08. Biggest Changes: No team made more changes in the off-season. Johan Santana is no longer the #1 starter, after his off-season trade to the NY Mets. That's huge. The Twins also failed to sign their best position player, Torii Hunter, who skipped to the LA Angels. There are so many changes, the easiest way to note the slew of them is this list of additions: Brendan Harris, 2B, Adam Everett, SS, Mike Lamb, 3B, Craig Monroe, OF, Delmon Young, OF, Carlos Gomez, OF, Livan Hernandez, SP, Philip Humber, SP; and departures: Jason Bartlett, SS, Jason Tyner, OF, Rondell White, OF, Carlos Silva, SP, Matt Garza, SP. Rookie/Free Agent Prospects: Gomez, Lamb, Young, Everett and Harris are all projected starters, but watch for Craig Monroe to emerge as a power threat, and crack the lineup if he can cut down on his Ks. Francisco Liriano joins Scott Baker as the top two starters. Prospects Kevin Slowey and Nick Blackburn could eventually be starters. Best fantasy bets: Justin Morneau is easily the best power hitter on the team. Craig Monroe might be a great late draft round pick or free agent pick up. one could take a shot with Nick Blackburn when and if he becomes available. Joe Nathan is a quality closer, but one wonders how many changes he'll get. Three Excellent Links: Twins news via Nick & Nick Twins Blog Nick Blackburn career stats Next: Chicago White Sox

No comments: