With the Twins officially out of contention for the playoffs, and with their inability to play decent professional baseball, I've mentally turned ahead to 2012. But because there is still baseball left on the 2011 calendar, here's my wish list for the last few weeks of Minnesota baseball:
1. Good debuts for Joe Benson and Chris Parmelee. Parmelee has looked better at the plate so far, but I'm hopeful that Benson will get it going in Detroit this weekend. I just saw him last week at New Britain, and he was mashing the ball there.
2. Health for Mauer and Morneau. If either are unable to compete, I'd just assume call it a season for them, and let them start their off-season rest/conditioning a little early. If they are healthy, well I'd love to see them hit the ball hard and far. I don't care if they fall in for hits, leave the ballpark, or are just loud outs, but it at least would be a sign that our sluggers can still drive the ball.
3. Ben Revere getting that batting average and on-base percentage up. There's no question about his ability to track down baseballs in center field, but it is fair to expect more than a .250 batting average. For these last few weeks, it would be great to see Ben hit like he did at all levels of the minors, and reach base at a higher clip.
4. Joe Mauer doesn't fall behind new Yankees' slugger Jesus Montero for home runs. It does not bode well for Mauer that Montero hit 2 home runs in his first 13 big league at-bats, and that Joe currently has 2 home runs . . . in 281 at-bats. I don't hold out much hope for that one.
5. Good defense. From everyone. Especially Danny Valencia. Nothing fancy. Just know how many outs there are, field balls, and throw with some degree of accuracy to the correct base.
This is a modest list. The way this season has gone, it's difficult to even be optimistic about 2012. But I guess that's what we do. And the best way to head into 2012 would be to finish out 2011 playing well, both individually and as a team.