Getting To Know The 2012 Minnesota Twins – The Starters
With the 2012 Twins Season in full swing, I thought I would take some time to introduce the 25 man roster as well as some faces we should expect to see throughout the season.
Today's blog features the Starters.
Span will be playing center field for the Twins and hopes to be a table setter at the top of the lineup all season. Span had a great spring, hitting .317 and should be primed to have a huge year for the Twins.
Carroll was brought in to shore up the infield defense. The hope is that he can provide consistent defense and get on base at a high rate. Carroll hit .273 this spring and should benefit from hitting in front of the heart of the order.
Whether it is at first or catcher or DH, Mauer will simply be looking to stay healthy this season. After hitting a sizzling .357 this spring we should expect Mauer to return to the form that warranted the monster deal the Twins signed him to.
If one player’s success or failure will make or break the Twins this year, that player is Justin Morneau. If he can return to the MVP form he was at prior to his concussion issues, he takes the Twins lineup to a different level. If he is injury prone again as the last few years have shown, he will leave a gaping hole in the middle of the lineup. Morneau started off slow this spring, but ended on a tear, finishing with a .254 average. Expect him to stay healthier by being able to DH regularly.
Willingham is the final piece of what could be a formidable 3-4-5 combo for the Twins lineup. For a lineup that craved right-handed power, Willingham was a perfect fit. The spacious dimensions of Target Field won’t make any difference to him having played in Oakland last season. Willingham’s .271 average this spring shows he is ready to pepper the bleachers in left field this season.
No one on the Twins roster wants to forget last season more than Valencia. Fielding lapses and poor plate discipline led to him being in the doghouse more than once last year and for a lineup riddled with so many injury concerns, someone needs to provide a consistent bat and glove. Valencia could be that player and should be as evident by his .284 average this spring. Expect a step forward from Valencia this year.
Doumit came into the season expecting to get plenty of at-bats as Mauer and Morneau’s injury protection. Both players have been healthy all spring however, so it seems like Doumit will get the majority of his playing time in the outfield and will play elsewhere whenever someone needs a day off. One thing is clear though: his bat will be in the lineup. After hitting .289 this spring, Doumit looks to have a big year so he can cash in when free agency hits after the season.
Parmelee was one of the surprise additions to the roster this year. But after it became apparent that Morneau would start the season at DH, someone needed to be able to play first base regularly. Parmelee impressed in his call-up last September and has impressed in spring training, hitting .261 but supplying steady power. If Parmelee has a big year, suddenly this lineup is looking pretty tough to get through.
Casilla is at a pivotal point in his Twins career this season. With younger infield options in the minor leagues, unless Casilla can prove he belongs here he will most likely be allowed to leave after the season. Casilla’s best asset is his speed, and if he is healthy he should be able to showcase that this season. Casilla cooled off after starting the spring off red-hot, but ended up hitting .300 overall.
Tomorrow's Getting to know the 2012 Minnesota Twins will feature The Bench.