2009 Minnesota Twins Baseball Preview

In 2008, the Minnesota Twins (88- 75) put in another good year despite the fact that they no longer had Tori Hunter, Carlos Silva or Johan Santana. They also lost Michael Cuddyer and Pat Neshek for most of the season to injuries. That meant that they were without one of their leading run producers and their primary set up guy. Still, the Twins managed to tie the Chicago White Sox for first in the Central and in a one-game playoff with the Sox missed the post-season, losing 1- 0.

The Twins rotation is deep. Number one starter Scott Baker (11- 4 W/L, 3.45 ERA, .247 BAA) throws a fastball on either side of the plate along with an effective slider, big curve and tough change. Righties Kevin Slowey (12- 11 W/L, 3.99 ERA, .260 BAA) and Nick Blackburn (11- 11 W/L, 4.05 ERA, .292 BAA) and lefty Glen Perkins (12- 4 W/L, 4.41 ERA, .301 BAA) all sport consistent fastballs. Lefty Francisco Liriano (6- 4 W/L, 3.91 ERA, .254 BAA), who returned from Tommy John surgery last season, had a good comeback year and looks to be even stronger in 2009. Closer Joe Nathan (39 SV, 1.33 ERA, .179 BAA) leads what is an excellent bullpen.

In 2008, Minnesota was fourth in the majors in batting, runs and RBI. Denard Span (.294 BA, 47 RBI, 6 HR, 18 SB) is a sound leadoff hitter. Joe Mauer (.328 BA, 85 RBI, 9 HR) and Justin Morneau (.300 BA, 129 RBI, 23 HR) are an intimidating three-four combo, while DH Jason Kubel (.272 BA, 78 RBI, 20 HR) has power to spare. Mauer won his second straight batting title last season. Third baseman Brian Buscher (.294 BA, 47 RBI, 4 HR), shortstop Nick Punto (.284 BA, 28 RBI, 2 HR) and outfielder Delmon Young (.290 BA, 69 RBI, 10 HR) are all able to put the ball in play.

The middle of the infield is solid with Punto at short and Alexi Casilla at second. Brusher at third is a liability, while Morneau at first has improved his fielding but lacks range. Mauer is one of the best catchers in the game. The outfield is skilled and deep. Young, Carlos Gomez, Span and Michael Cuddyer are versatile performers who are capable of playing various spots in the outfield.

Manager Ron Gardenhire is one of the best around. He's also surrounded himself with a squad of reliable, proficient coaches. General Manager Bill Smith, who became the top administrator at the end of the 2007 season, proved to be a proactive force when he traded top pitcher Johan Santana for Carlos Gomez, one of the best center fielders in the game. The Twins have an excellent farm system.

Although Minnesota is not the best club in the league, they are probably the best in the Central Division. They have a solid and deep rotation and a stable of fine hitters. Their outfield is topnotch. Once again, they will be in the playoff hunt in 2009.

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.


2009 Baseball Preview

The 2009 Major League Baseball season is here and Maddux Sports once again has unveiled their annual preview of this years summer pastime. We go in-depth on all 30 baseball teams as well as our divisional predictions including order of finish. To find your favorite team click on the division links to the right. At anytime you can return to the 2009 baseball preview page.

09 MLB Division Previews

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