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  1. Four Thoughts From Port Charlotte

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    The Twins made the short trip up to Port Charlotte Thursday night to take on the Rays. Scott Diamond, making his case for the fifth spot in the rotation, faced the same team that effectively knocked Vance Worley out of the running two nights earlier.

    The Twins fell 5-4, their third loss in three tries since I arrived in Florida on Monday. There were a few interesting tidbits to be gleaned from the contest so let's dive in.

    * Diamond looked ...
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  2. Finding Offense

    The vibe down here in Ft. Myers is that the pitching will definitely improve this year. Although Vance Worley's ugly outing on Tuesday may still be fresh in your mind, various coaches and media types have commented on how sharp guys like Phil Hughes, Mike Pelfrey and Ricky Nolasco have looked. Kyle Gibson and Samuel Deduno have both been cruising.

    There's less confidence that this club is going to score enough runs.

    Last year, the Twins tallied 614 runs to rank 13th in ...
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  3. Wednesday Notes From Ft. Myers

    * The Twins' lineup on Tuesday looked an awful lot like one we might see in the regular season, and that makes sense since we're less than two weeks from Opening Day and everyone was rested following a rainout on Monday.

    I asked Ron Gardenhire after the game if we should make anything out of Alex Presley's presence in center field with this group of potential regulars.

    "Gotta play everybody," he said, downplaying any significance. "Gotta see how they do against lefties, ...
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  4. Hughes Could Be Huge For Twins

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ID:	6815It was only a minor-league start against Single-A hitters, but still the reviews of Phil Hughes on Tuesday were glowing.

    "I thought he looked really good, really sharp," said assistant GM Rob Antony.

    "Hughesy threw the [expletive] out of the ball," said Ron Gardenhire.

    There's a palpable buzz surrounding Hughes this spring. If you ask anyone who's been down here for positive signs they've seen in a camp that has featured its fair ...
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  5. Out of Answers

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ID:	6809There's really no way to put a positive spin on Vance Worley's start Tuesday night. With his chance of making the team very much on the line after back-to-back clunkers, the righty came out and delivered the worst outing of this spring -- for him or any other Twins starter.

    The final line: 2.2 IP, 7 ER, 11 H, 2 BB, 1 K. Six doubles allowed. ZERO swinging strikes on 61 pitches.

    Reflecting on the game, a dejected Worley couldn't find words to explain ...
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  6. Tuesday Notes From Ft. Myers

    Overcast skies in the morning gave way to a bright sun, and this Tuesday has turned into a beautiful one here in Ft. Myers, where the Twins are getting set to face off against the Orioles in a couple hours.

    To tide you over until then, here are a few notes gathered from wandering around the complex this morning and afternoon:

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    * Phil Hughes got his work in on the side fields earlier today, facing off against Orioles minor-leaguers under ...
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  7. Escobar Impressing at SS

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ID:	6780From the beginning, there was never really any doubt that Eduardo Escobar was going to make the 25-man roster out of spring training. The intriguing young infield talent is out of options and the Twins, short on infield help, were not going to let him slip away.

    That hasn't stopped the 25-year-old from going out and playing like he's trying to win a job. And that he might.

    After delivering a key two-run single in the seventh inning of Sunday's ...
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  8. Twins Don't Need More Starters

    Over the past few days, two pitchers that the Twins have been connected to at various points ended up signing with different teams.

    Darren Wolfson reported over the weekend that the Twins were interested in Joe Saunders, but the veteran left-hander agreed to terms Tuesday with the Rangers. And Johan Santana, who has of course been linked throughout the offseason to his former club, chose to sign a minor-league deal with big bonuses in Baltimore.

    A few fans may have been ...
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  9. The Trouble With Counting on Kubel

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ID:	6591Although he was signed to a non-guaranteed minor-league deal, the Twins appear to have big plans for Jason Kubel.

    "We brought him over here for a reason," said Ron Gardenhire recently.

    That reason is to add a powerful veteran bat to a lineup that ranked 11th in the AL in OPS and 12th in runs scored last year. Kubel has a lengthy track record of slugging success, with six straight seasons of above-average production leading up to 2013, and ...
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  10. Position Battle: Catcher

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ID:	6580When the Twins signed Kurt Suzuki back in December, it looked like they were adding a veteran backup catcher to the roster. After all, Suzuki has hit like a backup over the past four years (.650 OPS), served as a backup with two different clubs last season, and is getting paid like a backup at $2.75 million.

    However, folks around camp are talking about the new addition as essentially a lock to open the season as Minnesota's starter behind the plate. ...
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  11. Position Battle: Designated Hitter

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ID:	6566In Josh Willingham, Oswaldo Arcia and Jason Kubel, the Twins have three players who are projected to be on the 25-man roster and are all probably best suited for designated hitter duty.

    Each is likely to see some time in that role, but determining which player should be the true "designated DH" is essentially a matter of judging who provides the least defensive value.

    Of course, the go-to designated hitter also has to hit enough to justify playing ...
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  12. Position Battle: Fifth Starter

    A year ago, Vance Worley came to camp and impressed coaches enough to earn an Opening Day assignment. The right-hander carried hefty expectations, having been acquired as one of the main pieces in a trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia and left the Twins without a clear center fielder (an quandary that, as Seth discussed yesterday, still persists).

    This year, Worley arrives in Ft. Myers under a much different set of circumstances. Following a disastrous first year in Minnesota, ...
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  13. Spring Training Preview

    First, an announcement: Wednesday marks the three-year anniversary of Twins Daily's launch! It's been a heck of a ride thus far and we want to heartily thank everybody who has visited, contributed and helped turn this site into one of the premier destinations for Minnesota Twins coverage and discussion on the Web.

    Twins Daily's growth has created a lot of great opportunities over the past two years, and we're extremely excited about the way our spring training coverage will evolve ...
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  14. Twins Daily Top 10 Prospects: Recap

    The Twins truly might have the most talent-laded farm system in all of baseball, so ranking and profiling our selections for the Top 10 prospects over the past couple weeks has been a lot of fun.

    Today, we'll take a high-level look at that list as a whole and see what it tells us about the future of the franchise, both short-term and long-term.

    First, here's a rundown of the TD Top 10, with links to each story:

    ...
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