2008 Minnesota Twins Baseball Preview

The Minnesota Twins (79- 83) stock has been falling and it went into crash mode when the team traded star pitcher Johan Santana to the New York Mets and lost free agent All-Star Torii Hunter to the Angels. GM Bill Smith is trying to rebuild the team but some doubt that offering up Santana and losing Hunter was the way to go.

Livan Hernandez (11- 11, 4.93 ERA, 90 SO), a 33 year-old right-hander from Arizona, looks to be in the rotation. Lefty Francisco Liriano, who was sidelined all last year with elbow reconstruction, offers a 94- 97 mph fastball and a tough changeup. He needs to take care of health and control issues. Starter Kevin Slowey, 23 years old, will get a close look in Spring training. He had seven starts last season and was sent down after posting a 5.84 ERA. He came back up in September and pitched well, lowering his earned run average by one. The Twins have a strong bullpen, led by first-rate closer Joe Nathan (4- 2, 1.88 ERA, 37 SV, 77 SO) and supported by middleman Matt Guerrier (2- 4, 2.35 ERA, 68 SO, .220 BA).

Minnesota can run the bases, but they lack the hitting necessary to generate runs. Catcher Joe Mauer (.292 BA, 7 HR, 60 RBI), who’s one of the best, played in less than 110 games last season due to injury. He’s also a team leader and a fine backstop. 1B Justin Morneau (.271 BA, 31 HR, 111 RBI) is a difference maker when at the plate. 3B Mike Lamb (.289, 12 HR, 59 RBI) is a good breaking ball hitter, while the versatile and young Delmon Young (.288 BA, 13 HR, 93 RBI) looks to have a powerful impact as he matures.

The Twins field an average defense, with good fielders in center and right, an excellent catcher and an average infield. The team was 12th in double plays last season and seventh in fielding percentage.

Time will tell with the Twins. Look for manager Ron Gardenhire to guide the team to a last-place finish. This is not what the fans ordered bit if Smith’s business acumen can work some miracles in a few years all may be forgiven.

Read more on the Twins other AL Central division competitors like the Detroit Tigers, Chicago White Sox, Cleveland Indians, and Kansas City Royals.

For more info on the Twins check out the MLB official page for Minnesota baseball news.


2008 MLB Preview

As usual we cover and break down all 30 of the major league baseball clubs. To read about a particular team simply click on the link of the division of where the team resides. The division pages will also give a quick thumbnail on each team and are order of finish. At anytime you can return to the main baseball preview page.

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