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

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Twins Picks

Well, the Florida portion of Spring Training has concluded, and the Twins are preparing for two exhibition games against the Braves in Atlanta. Then, it will finally be Opening Day. I try not to capitalize too many words, but Opening Day definitely deserves that emphasis. It has been a long winter, and the team (as well as the fans) officially needs to move on from, but not forget, the ugly October end to 2010.

Here are a few 2011 Twins-picks related to certain offensive and pitching categories. * indicates that the player will lead the league.


HR: D. Young, 31.

RBI: D. Young, 110.

Avg.: J. Mauer, .345*

OBP: J. Mauer, .410.

2B: J. Morneau, 34.

3B: D. Span, 12.*


Wins: F. Liriano, 18.

ERA: F. Liriano, 3.31.

Saves: M. Capps, 27.

Ks: F. Liriano, 220.

Long story short, I am expecting big things in 2011 from Young and Liriano. Young is playing for a contract, maybe in Minnesota and maybe not, and Liriano needs to establish that his 2010 numbers were not an aberration. I do think Morneau is going to produce, but I am anticipating a slow start. To be sure, giving Morneau extra rest in April could help ensure that September and October are healthy months. I think Joe Mauer will be back to his usual form, meaning a batting title. I don't expect that his home run production will necessarily increase. If the guy comes close to leading the league in average and on-base percentage, and hits 50 doubles, he almost certainly will drive in 100 runs with this offense, and that is a pretty great season.

I expect Nathan and Capps will both get plenty of save opportunities, but I simply am not convinced Nathan can be counted on to save games the first part of this season. I hope I'm wrong, but his spring training outings have done little to instill confidence. In the end, Capps simply may get more save opportunities if opponents continue to hit Nathan hard. I hope I'm wrong on this, because I like Joe Nathan and his recovery from Tommy John surgery has been amazing, but suddenly the Twins' decision to overpay Matt Capps in 2011 as "insurance" does not seem quite as bad as it did a few months ago.

No comments:

Post a Comment