Your place for Minnesota Twins and New Britain Rock Cats coverage, analysis and opinion.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Twins Notes and a Preview of What's to Come

I'm in a holding pattern with the Twins right now. I was thrilled with Tsuyoshi Nishioka's relatively early demotion to AAA, I'm becoming worried about Justin Morneau's wrist, and I'm encouraged by the Spring Training performances of prospects like Chris Parmelee, Joe Benson and Brian Dozier. Perhaps most importantly, Francisco Liriano has looked -- save only one inning all spring -- better than he did at any point in 2011.

But I'm just not one of those people that goes crazy with the identity of the player that ends up winning the utility infielder spot, or of the last guy to round out the bullpen. I know, especially after watching last season, that those are both important roles on any team, but I just can't get too excited about it. I'm basically ready for Spring Training to be done. Maybe I'd feel differently if we had travel plans to Ft. Myers . . . .

Joe, I'm hoping you play in Baltimore this year
so I don't have to keep recycling this picture
from Camden Yards taken in 2010.
 But there are a few things that I am excited about. First, in just a couple weeks I'll be attending the New Britain Rock Cats Annual Welcome Home Dinner. That should be pretty fun -- a player sits at each table, the manager introduces the roster and there is a bar. The very next night, I'll be at the season opener against the Richmond Flying Squirrels (great name of the San Francisco Giants' farm team). I will be providing blog coverage and some pictures from both nights, as well as a game recap. I'm expecting that New Britain might not be very good the first part of the season (no Parmelee, Benson and Dozier), but hopefully by the second half there will have been a couple promotions, and I'll be seeing a player such as Aaron Hicks leading the charge.

Finally, I'm hitting Baltimore for the last two games of the Twins' series there. Again, expect game recaps and pictures. I'm hoping the Twins field a better lineup this time around, than they did last season in Baltimore (Mauer or Morneau weren't even at the stadium).

My post from earlier this week, Centerfield Trade Bait, was well read both at this blog and at TwinsDaily. There are great comments and ideas on both sites, so be sure to check out the comments section if you haven't already. Also, the TwinsDaily version was linked to on ESPN's SweetSpot page (thanks for pointing that out, NoDak Twins Fan!).

If you have time, check out my recent post at Through the Fence Baseball. It's about the Twins and the upcoming draft. With 5 out of the first 75 picks, I want them taking a couple of the best available pitchers early.

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