• Spring Training Preview

    First, an announcement: Wednesday marks the two-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 this year. You all are going to love it.

    Live From Florida...

    Over the next two weeks, leading up to the official start of Grapefruit League play on February 28, we will be serving up tons of spring preview content, including projected rosters, analysis of various position battles and a deeper look at prospects to keep an eye on.

    Then, during the entire month of March, Twins Daily will be providing on-location coverage of workouts and games in Ft. Myers. John, Parker, Seth and myself will each spend a week down in Florida, so you'll be able to follow the action from different perspectives and tap into subtle storylines in camp that might be overlooked by the space-restricted mainstream media.

    As always, we want to tailor our coverage to the wants of our readers, so please feel free to use the comments section here as a sounding board for what you want to find on the site during the month of March. What intrigues you most about this year's spring training landscape? What reports would you like to read? What sights would you like to see?

    Stay Tuned to Spring

    As always, we'll be pumping out plenty of articles from our writers and readers in addition to spring training coverage in March, but if you want to stay tuned in to all the stuff coming directly from Ft. Myers, you'll probably want to bookmark our Twins Daily Spring Training 2014 section. This page will feature a steady stream of camp-related content, especially once things ramp up next month. In addition, you can expect the @TwinsDaily Twitter account to become very active.

    Stories To Track

    Here are some of the compelling narratives we'll be keeping an eye on -- from afar and up close -- over the next six weeks:

    1. Mauer the first baseman. We've seen the former MVP at first before; he logged 38 starts there over the past two seasons. Yet now he makes the full-time transition to a new position, putting away the catcher's gear for good. How will Mauer adapt to the new digs and how will his body react to the lessened punishment?

    2. Fringe rotation contenders make their pitch. Four starters are locked in, for now: Ricky Nolasco, Phil Hughes, Kevin Correia and Mike Pelfrey. That leaves one spot open for a group that includes Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond, Vance Worley and several others. As injuries inevitably take their toll during the spring, we may see more openings pop up. Don't count out the emergence of a dark horse.

    3. Non-roster invites on the bubble. Familiar faces Jason Kubel, Matt Guerrier and Jason Bartlett will all be back in camp looking to earn their way onto the Twins' roster once again. Each has his own challenges to overcome but it's a safe bet that at least one or two of these guys will be on the roster to start the season.

    4. Top prospects in the spotlight. Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Alex Meyer will all be looking to make an impression on the big-league manager. As Oswaldo Arcia showed last year, that can go a long way.

    5. The search for power. Brian Dozier led the club in homers last year with 18, but few expect him to repeat that number. With Justin Morneau gone, no other Twin hit more than 14 bombs in 2013, so we'll be looking for signs of improved pop this spring from players like Trevor Plouffe, Josh Willingham, and Arcia.
    This article was originally published in blog: Spring Training Preview started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 32 Comments
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      One other thing I forgot to mention: If any of you will be down at the complex in Ft. Myers next month, please come say hi!
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Giddy-Freaking-up!
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      I can't wait for my snowbird years when I'm down there the whole time. As it is I'll just have to settle for my 2 weeks in March.

      Will you be in a set location at all? Or wandering? How will you 'distinguish' yourselves from the crowd in order for us to find you to say 'hi?'
    1. Carneal&Gordon's Avatar
      Carneal&Gordon -
      Congrats on 3 year anniversary, well done!
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      I'm looking for more contact from all the players more than I am more pop. Closest category to league average the Twins had last year was homeruns. The strikeouts were the hardest thing to watch for me.
    1. Heimer's Avatar
      Heimer -
      I want to be updated on Hicks and why we should trade some bull pen arms, thanks for asking.
    1. Lazarus's Avatar
      Lazarus -
      On the rare occasion that I've been able to get to Ft. Myers during Spring Training, I've enjoyed watching the early workouts at the back fields to see who is getting more personalized attention and what specific things the coaches are having the players work on. Since the fences are so close to the action, you can often hear the conversations. Including updates on some of these sessions would be insightful for the snowbound masses.
    1. righty8383's Avatar
      righty8383 -
      Looks like I joined on the public launch date. I feel special now Though not as special as you moderators who joined a couple months prior.
    1. dakotanative's Avatar
      dakotanative -
      Been around for two years, heh? What a great site. What a great group of writers and commenters. Every morning while I am having that first cup of coffee I hit sports spyder - twins and Twins Daily. Got to have my fix. With such interesting expectations going into the season I imagine my time on the site will double and I might actually go up a level or two in commenting on what is being written. Well done and wish you many years of growing success.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Well Happy Anniversary! This is a great site. I hope to meet you guys down here next month.

      To wet your whistles, a little tid bit from today. These guys work hard, but also have fun. Today on the half field the pitchers were doing drills. Everyday Eddie was showing how to cover 1st base, and tripped and took a header. It wasn't much later a body outline was there in the grass where he landed in chalk outline. Never a dull moment around here.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by ChiTownTwinsFan View Post
      Will you be in a set location at all? Or wandering? How will you 'distinguish' yourselves from the crowd in order for us to find you to say 'hi?'
      That's a good question. We'll be in the pressbox but also wandering around, I would guess, trying to see the game from different areas. We will have some "Twins Daily" polo shirts on occasion, but probably not every day. Look for our gorgeous mugs, I guess? Or maybe we'll tweet out someplace for postgame cocktails?
    1. highlander's Avatar
      highlander -
      i am a certified positive homer. i love florimon's leather at ss, in time i think his stick will improve. i look for a .250 avg with 10 plus big flys. but what really excites me is hicks. sure he took his lumps last year. maybe he just needs to rob a couple home runs to get in a positive groove. he looks to me like a legit five tool guy.
    1. TC Stunner's Avatar
      TC Stunner -
      Out of Bartlett, Guerrier and Kubel, Kubel is the only one I see making the roster. I hope the Twins have him and Willingham rotating at DH. Bartlett was out of baseball last year, and Guerrier is 36, coming off of an injury. If those two make the roster, then something went horribly wrong during spring training:-)
    1. TC Stunner's Avatar
      TC Stunner -
      Quote Originally Posted by highlander View Post
      i am a certified positive homer. i love florimon's leather at ss, in time i think his stick will improve. i look for a .250 avg with 10 plus big flys. but what really excites me is hicks. sure he took his lumps last year. maybe he just needs to rob a couple home runs to get in a positive groove. he looks to me like a legit five tool guy.

      I agree on Hicks. I really hope he's the starting LF or CF. I think the Twins should only use Willingham as a DH, cause they really need his bat and cant afford for him to get injured. Hicks in LF, Pressley in CF and Arcia in RF or Arcia in LF, Hicks in CF and Collabello/Parmelee in RF. I really hope Hicks works out because a future OF of Hicks, Buxton and Arcia sounds pretty appealing.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      While you spotlight the top prospects (#4) in Florida, I'll be in Scottsdale for a week, watching Morneau and Cuddyer pull hamstrings and sit in rocking chairs. In a year or two they will be back in Ft. Myers, pushing Bartlett and Kubel around the bases in wheelchairs.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      SPRING HAS SPRUNG! www.isitspringtrainingyet.com
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Be sure to let us know when you'll be down, and maybe a place to look for you guys.
    1. eLee612's Avatar
      eLee612 -
      Flight leaves in 4 hours... Fort Meyers by 2:00!! Who is already there?
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      Quote Originally Posted by eLee612 View Post
      Flight leaves in 4 hours... Fort Meyers by 2:00!! Who is already there?
      My flight leaves in 10 days, 9 1/2 hrs ... but who's counting!
    1. eLee612's Avatar
      eLee612 -
      Red Fox has entered the den. And changed into shorts and a tank top, damn!t!! About 50% of my flight was wearing Twins gear… so good to see.

      Red Sox at Jet Blue tomorrow
      Red Sox at Home on Saturday
      Rays in Port Charlotte on Sunday
      Blue Jays at home on Monday

      And after Toronto, only 4 teams left to check em' all off the list! Is there any time restrictions as to how early we can get into Hammond (or the sports complex in general)? Would love to check out who's playing on the rest of the fields.
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