Matthew's Baseball Preview

03/19/2003
Santana, Rodgers, and Radke are key members of the Twins Pitching staff.
I like this logo.
Let's hope the Twins get to have a few of these celebrations during the upcoming season.
With the baseball season upon us, I thought I might as well try to predict the 25 men who will make the 2003 Opening Day roster of the Minnesota Twins. While most of the roster spots are pretty much set in stone, there are a few spots on the roster, and the starting lineup open for contention.

Pitchers

Starting Rotation: Bullpen:

Brad Radke - RHP

Rick Reed - RHP

Joe Mays - RHP

Kenny Rogers - LHP

Kyle Lohse - RHP

Eddie Guardado - LHP

J.C. Romero - LHP

LaTroy Hawkins - RHP

Johan Santana - LHP

Tony Fiore - RHP

Mike Fetters - RHP

(RHP = Right-handed pitcher, LHP = Left-handed pitcher)

With lefty Eric Milton out of the starting rotation for 4-6 months after knee surgery, it looked like a sure bet that Johan Santana would take his place in the rotation, thus opening up another spot in the bullpen. The Twins, leery of losing Santana's versatility in relief, signed Kenny Rogers to take Milton's place, putting Santana back in the bullpen and leaving only one real opening on the relief corp. That last spot will probably go to veteran Mike Fetters as the Twins like his experience and intensity. Should another pitcher be injured before camp ends, or if the Twins decide to go with 12 pitchers, look for RHP Jose Cabrera to travel north with the team.

Lineup

Starters: Bench:

C: A.J. Pierzynski *

1B: Doug Mientkiewicz *

2B: Luis Rivas

SS: Cristian Guzman #

3B: Corey Koskie *

LF: Jacque Jones *

CF: Torii Hunter

RF: Dustan Mohr

DH: Matt LeCroy

C: Tom Prince

OF: Michael Cuddyer

OF: Bobby Kielty #

INF: Denny Hocking #

INF: Chris Gomez

(* = bats left, # = switch hitter)

Dustan Mohr, Bobby Kielty and Michael Cuddyer are all fighting for the starting job in right field. While they are all sure to each get plenty of at bats during the season, only one can be the Opening Day starter. Kielty has been nagged by injuries all spring, and may have to start the season on the DL (If that happens, look for OF Mike Ryan, 1B Todd Sears or Cabrera as a 12th pitcher to fill the roster spot). Cuddyer is one of the better prospects in the Twins organization, and from all indications the job is his to take, but he has been struggling during the spring. Mohr has had a solid spring and is better defensively than Cuddyer, and that gets him my nod for the starting job, for opening day at least.

The other spot in contention is that of a second middle infielder, behind Denny Hocking. Veteran Chris Gomez and Rule V draftee Jose Morban are the two top choices for the spot. Morban, being a Rule V (as in five) draftee, must stay on the Major League roster the entire season or else be offered back to the Texas Rangers for $25,000. While he has tremendous speed and the potential to be a big league shortstop in future, his talent right now is still raw. Gomez, meanwhile, has experience and the versatility to play all four infield positions if needed. In the end I would go with Gomez, but I wouldn't be surprised to see the Twins try to make a deal with the Rangers to be able to keep Morban and send him to the minors. This could all be a moot point if the Twins, as stated above, decide to go with 12 pitchers this would be a prime spot to replace with one.

Projected Opening Day Batting Order:

1. Jacque Jones - LF

2. Cristian Guzman - SS

3. Torii Hunter - CF

4. Corey Koskie - 3B

5. Matt LeCroy - DH

6. Doug Mientkiewicz - 1B

7. Dustan Mohr - RF

8. A.J. Pierzynski - C

9. Luis Rivas - 2B

SP - Brad Radke (RHP)

- Matthew Pehler is getting sick of bobblehead days.

face.bmpCarlos44ec - You had me at "Hello"
05/01/2007 @ 04:47:16 PM
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Look how much has changed in 4 years!
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fry6beeu9.jpgJeremy - 8953 Posts
05/01/2007 @ 04:49:32 PM
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The team is definitely less dreamy now then it was then.
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face.bmpCarlos44ec - "If at first you don't succeed, failure may be your style."
05/02/2007 @ 10:04:42 AM
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I wish you could see the games on TV. They have some awesome times... like last night. And who was that dude with Ponson's jersey on?!? He could actually pitch! (minus one dinger)
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