2012 Minnesota Twins Season Preview
The Twins had a down year on the field by any definition, but that still didn’t stop the fans from coming to the ballpark in 2011 – attendance at Target Field was 2nd in the American League behind only the Yankees. Minnesota will try to put on a better show this season for the home crowd, with a couple new faces replacing a few long-time Twins that departed through free agency. Michael Cuddyer, Jason Kubel and Joe Nathan are no longer in the home white, but the big bat of Josh Willingham and slick glove of Jamey Carroll figure to pick up the slack. Willingham hit 29 HRs and 98 RBI last season for the A’s and has been one of the most consistent hitters in baseball since breaking into the starting lineup with the Marlins in 2006. The outfielder averages around 25 HRs and 30 doubles a season and should give Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau some help in the middle of the lineup. The Twins also hope that a return to form from Francisco Liriano will help propel them back into the division title mix as the lefty continues to be inconsistent. A flash of brilliance came in the form of a no-hitter last season when Liriano shut down the White Sox on May 3. Liriano is lighting the Grapefruit league on fire this spring and looks like he could be his old self in 2012.
2011 Minnesota Twins Season Preview
In their continuing tradition of being a small-market, yet fantastically efficient and winning team, the Minnesota Twins hung on to the AL Central lead despite a late surge from the Chicago White Sox in 2010. While other big market teams hem and haw about high-priced free agents going to the other teams, the Twins go the other direction. They build their talent in the minors and bring them up when they’re good and ready, something rarely seen today unless it’s to keep the arbitration clock from starting. This has benefited the team previously, with players like Johan Santana (now gone), Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer becoming All-Stars and creating a core of players whose foundation doesn’t get rattled easily. Last year was a perfect example—still winning the division despite season-long injuries to huge stars like Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan. While those two look to start the season in the Twins line-up, it may be up to the other parts of the teams to compensate. While Joe Mauer remains the rock upon which the Twins offense is centered on, a solid rotation of Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano, Brian Duensing and Nick Blackburn look to give the Twins another year of making to the playoffs. What they’ll do once they get there will be the biggest question.
2010 Minnesota Twins Season Preview
The tantalizing run that put the Minnesota Twins in the postseason last year, and the seemingly limitless potential of the young stars in their lineup, will keep fans pouring into Target Field this year. While the squad exited the playoffs after one round in 2009, disappointing their faithful legions, fans who turned out for games last season were lucky enough to watch superstar catcher Joe Mauer, as he batted a sizzling .365, hit 28 homers and captured the American League Most Valuable Player Award. Entering the year as the game's elite catcher, there's no reason to think that the natural hitter will slow down as the Twins compete to reign supreme over the American League's Central Division. Mauer will have some help with former MVP award winner, first baseman Justin Morneau batting right behind him in the Twins' lineup. Die-hards can spend their summer in the stands watching crafty ace Scott Baker befuddle opposing batters with his off-speed pitches, cheering for Francisco Liriano as tries to regain his standing as one of the most dominating pitchers in the league, and gazing with awe as outfielder Denard Span shows his blistering speed on the base paths. Look for the Minnesota Twins to prove that they are a team of unmatched talent in 2010.
2009 Minnesota Twins Season Preview
The Minnesota Twins will move into a fancy new ballpark in 2010 named Target Field. So 2009 will be the last season that Twins fans make the trek to the HHH Metrodome. One thing Minnesota fans better hope doesn't get left behind in the Metrodome is the solid play the Twins have had over the past few years. The 2009 season should be another excellent one for Minny as they return their entire roster from a team that barely missed the 08 playoffs. Twins fans will again be cheering studs Justin Morneau and pitcher Francisco Liriano. If the Minnesota Twins get excellent pitching in 2009, then they will be a strong contender for the AL pennant.
2008 Minnesota Twins Season Preview
The Minnesota Twins have been one of the most exciting teams to watch in baseball for the past few seasons. A perennial playoff team, they haven't been able to make it past the ALCS recently, but this season they will surely be eager to dispel the criticism that they can't succeed in the playoffs and the comparisons to the Atlanta Braves of the 1990's who also won their division multiple times with no World Series. The Metrodome will be teeming with Twins fans cheering to see their team win another division title and make a successful run at the World Series. Rumors of the team's moving to another market have been laid to rest with the start of construction of a new stadium, and Minneapolis/St. Paul fans are delighted that their beloved team will stay and represent the city.