Minnesota Twins Spring Training | Schedule, Preview, Tickets, and Projections

The Minnesota Twins kick off their 2009 Spring Training campaign this Wednesday against the Boston Red Sox. The Twins will be playing a 35 game ‘preseason’ starting this February 25th with home games based out of Ft. Myers, Florida. If you are in the area and want to catch a game you can get tickets here. If you are like the rest of America freezing up north, you can catch some spring training games live on MLB.TV. The premium package starts at 109.95, while their regular package starts at 79.95. If you’re going to get MLB.TV, you might as well get it now and make that dollar stretch as the price likely won’t go down after Spring Training.

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SPRING TRAINING PREVIEW

Here’s a few things to keep your eye on this Spring Training:

1 – Don’t Expect to see much of Joe Mauer
Mauer is still recovering from minor kidney surgery and most likely won’t see much action early in the preseason. The team is optimistic he will return by Opening Day.

2 – Keep an eye on
Joe Crede. The Twins newest and biggest free agent addition this offseason arrived in Ft. Myers late last night after inking a one year $2.5M dollar deal with incentives pushing the contract up to $7M. The world will finally get to see how healthy he really looks and if it appears like the deal was money well spent. Nonetheless, it will be fun watching a fresh face in camp. We will also get to see if the rumors about Buscher ‘crushing’ the ball had any substance behind them, but again, has anyone ever read a report of a guy not crushing the ball in Spring Training?

Bullpen. The Twins finished last season with only one arm really clicking in Jose Mijares. It will be good to see some fresh arms getting some work. Also, keep an eye on guys like Luis Ayala, R.A. Dickey, and hopefully Juan Cruz (if he signs with the Twins this week), to see how our new guys stack up. Also, keep an eye on Boof Bonser’s ailing shoulder as well as Phil Humber’s progress. Both could be looking on the outside in come Opening Day.

3 – Key Battles
Outfield. Denard Span, Carlos Gomez, Delmon Young, and Michael Cuddyer all lay legitimate claim to three outfield spots this Spring Training. Look for them get a lot of looks in the outfield this March. Last season, Cuddyer, a fan favorite, ran into health problems. This allowed the Twins’ three young stars to get serious face time in the Major Leagues, and they outperformed expectations. Denard Span should be a lock to play LF after last seasons success. As for CF and RF: expect Ron Gardenhire’s love affair with Michael Cuddyer and Carlos Gomez to land them spots on the opening day lineup. The organization doesn’t seem to be too high on former #1 overall pick Delmon Young. Ron Gardenhire publicly stated in the winter that he would be out of the Twins’ opening day lineup and trade rumors subsequently swirled. However, Young has more potential than anyone currently wearing a Twins uniform and should see plenty of action this year. If the raw Carlos Gomez doesn’t learn the strike zone early in the season or Michael Cuddyer can’t return to previous form, I would expect to see Delmon Young’s face in the everyday lineup. Scott Ullger, the Twins third base coach said yesterday: “Delmon is locked in. And he’s in great shape” providing even more reason why Delmon should be seeing loads of playing time this season.

Punto – Harris. This is a new battle that arises as a result of the Joe Crede signing. Harris has the ability to play anywhere in the infield and had shown flashes of potential last season. The Twins seem to be looking to crowd their roster with infielders (Casilla, Punto, Crede, Buscher, Harris, and Tolbert) this season. This will put pressure on the recently extended defensive ace Nick Punto.

Relief Pitching. The battle for the 8th inning set-up job will be between Jesse Crain, Luis Ayala, and Juan Cruz (assuming he somehow signs in the coming weeks). If Cruz is in camp, he should be looking to have the job. He’s a bit wild, but had an unbelievable 2008 season. It will be interesting to see how Ayala performs after regaining his health in the offseason. He performed well late in 2007, but ran into trouble last year. If all else fails, Jesse Crain would be a fine plug to fill the void.

4 – Projected 25 Man Roster
Lineup
LF – Span
2B – Casilla
C – Mauer
1B – Morneau
3B – Crede
RF – Cuddyer
DH – Kubel
SS – Punto
CF – Gomez

Bench
OF – Young
IF – Harris
IF – Buscher
IF – Tolbert
C – Redmond

Starting
SP – Liriano
SP – Baker
SP – Slowey
SP – Blackburn
SP – Perkins

Relief
CL – Nathan
SET – Crain
RP – Ayala
RP – Breslow
RP – Guerrier
RP – Humber

On the Outside Looking In
RP – Bonser (Out For Season)
RP – Mijares
RP – Mulvey
RP – Dickey
OF – Pridie



Comments

  1. Seriously doubt they carry 3 U IF. My guess is Mijares makes the club.

  2. Twins Fan says:

    Wow. The Twins would be stupid for not having Mijares on the 25 man roster. The guys a stud. They would really be missing out.

  3. I dont think the Twins will carry 3 backup infielders. I think that Mijares makes the roster over Buscher because Breslow has been very inconsistent to be the only lefty in the bullpen.

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