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    by 03-20-2012, 07:39 AM

    After a 99-loss season, it's nearly impossible to be a fanatic of the Twins organization and not look at the minor league system, and think "they have help on the way, right? ... Right?!"

    Don't worry, they do, and we're here to help you get to know them.

    That's right. The ultimate road warrior's guide to Twins baseball on the road, Territory Train, has its sights set on entering the Minor League circuit this summer
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    by 03-20-2012, 01:31 AM

    Is it fair to say that many Twins fans were pleasantly surprised when we learned on Monday morning that Tsuyoshi Nishioka had been optioned to Rochester? It was never really a question about whether he warranted a big league roster spot. It was clear to pretty much everyone that he wasn’t. It was the contract and the commitment that made it such a big decision. The Twins have three-million reasons to keep him at the end of their bench.

    However, Nishioka’s demotion appears to open up a spot on the 25-man roster for someone else.
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    by 03-20-2012, 01:12 AM

    In this week's episode, John and Aaron sip some Nordeast and talk about Nishi's demotion, Baker's injury, some surprising Twins performances, and what it all means for the Twins Opening Day roster. Here are:

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    by 03-19-2012, 10:28 PM

    Today in our preseason AL Central vote, we finish out the offense by voting on the Designated Hitter. We will get to the pitchers soon. Be sure to vote for your choice for "Which AL Central Designated Hitter will have the best 2012?" Be sure to vote here.

    The Candidates (2011 stats)

    Minnesota Twins – Ryan Doumit - .303/.353/.477 (.830) with 12-2B, 1-3B, 8-HR, 30 RBI
    Chicago White Sox – Adam Dunn - .159/.292/.277 (.569) with 16-2B, 0-3B, 11-HR, 42 RBI
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    by 03-19-2012, 03:14 PM

    When the Twins signed Jason Marquis to a one-year, $3 million contract back in December, Terry Ryan offered this description: "He's a groundball machine and he throws the ball over the plate."

    That characterization was only partially accurate.

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    by 03-19-2012, 08:20 AM

    The Twins reduced their spring training roster significantly on Monday morning, and there was even a surprise or two.

    The biggest name on the list was Tsuyoshi Nishioka. Many believed that because he has some ability to play shortstop and the had an inside track on the Twins utility job. But he has struggled throughout spring with many of the game's basics, and the Twins optioned him to Rochester.
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    by 03-18-2012, 10:18 PM

    Likely Starter: Ben Revere
    2011 Stats: .267/.310/.309, 0 HR, 30 RBI, 56 R, 34/43 SB

    Potential Backups: Trevor Plouffe, Darin Mastroianni, Brian Dinkelman

    Last year the Twins were the least effective team in all of baseball at converting batted balls into outs. With a pitching staff that allows a ton of contact, that's an enormously troubling statistic.
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    by 03-18-2012, 08:44 PM

    The news that Scott Baker is injured….

    Geek Chorus: Hold it – NEWS? Is that really news? At this point, wouldn’t it be news if Baker got out of spring training completely healthy? Isn’t “Scott Baker is injured in spring training” the status quo? Nobody says it’s news when it’s 70 & sunny in San Diego. It’s only news here because it’s March and Minnesota.

    Touché. Anyway, with Baker taking those first critical steps to yet another underachieving and frustrating season, I wondered about a debate that Aaron Gleeman and I have been having on the Gleeman and the Geek podcasts: will Scott Baker be with the Twins next year?

    Let’s set the stage.
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    by 03-18-2012, 07:49 PM

    Well, as Week One winds down and games have now started, Spring Training is in full swing. From the fans that gather around the complex, to the roster moves, it is clear that Opening Day is now right around the corner. These next three weeks are going to be critical for a couple reasons, first and foremost, to make a team. With competition this high and talent levels up and down the system higher than ever, just getting a uniform to wear is a privilege. Next is to use these weeks to get dialed in and prepared for day one. We want to win and do well from the get go, and mentally and physically preparing everyday is key to success.

    With games under way, from what I have seen the talent level of this spring training compared to past years, has increased.
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    by 03-18-2012, 07:50 AM

    This was originally posted at Knuckleballs

    St. Patrick’s Day means different things to different people. But if you’re a baseball player trying to make a Big League ballclub, you should have a pretty good idea of where you stand with your manager and General Manager by the time you lift your first green beer of the evening on March 17.

    At this point, there are just over two weeks left of Spring Training, so if you have any hope of heading north with the Big Club, you had better have made some sort of positive impression by now. You simply can’t look like Leprechaun feces on the field for the first half of March and expect to be wearing a Major League uniform on Opening Day.

    The Twins had 67 players in their Big League camp to begin with and will take only 25 with them to Baltimore to begin the regular season. In reality, there were only a handful of spots open on the Twins roster to begin with and not much has changed with regard to those players that were “locks.”
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    by 03-17-2012, 10:36 PM

    Today in our preseason AL Central vote, we finish out the outfield with the rightfielders. Be sure to vote for your choice for "Which AL Central Right Fielder will have the best 2012?" Be sure to vote here.

    The Candidates (2011 stats)

    Minnesota Twins – Josh Willingham - .246/.332/.477 (.810) with 26-2B, 0-3B, 29-HR, 98 RBI
    Chicago White Sox – Alex Rios- .227/.265/.348 (.613) with 22-2B, 2-3B, 13-HR, 44 RBI
    Cleveland Indians – Shin-Soo Choo - .259/.344/.390 (.733) with 11-2B, 3-3B, 8-HR, 36 RBI
    Detroit Tigers – Brennan Boesch - .283/.341/.458 (.799) with 25-2B, 1-3B, 16-HR, 54 RBI
    Kansas City Royals – Jeff Francoeur - .285/.329/.476 (.805) with 47-2B, 4-3B, 20-HR, 87 RBI
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    by 03-17-2012, 09:45 AM

    Since I was gone for most of the week, it was fun to put together this week's version of Friday Links-N-Thinks. It allowed me to get caught up on all of the news I might have missed this week and prepare for a little weekend of watching March Madness. Enjoy!!!

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    by 03-17-2012, 08:29 AM

    Today in our preseason AL Central vote, we move from left to center field. Be sure to vote for your choice for "Which AL Central Center Fielder will have the best 2012?" Be sure to vote here.

    The Candidates (2011 stats)

    Minnesota Twins - Denard Span- .264/.328/.359(.687) with 11-2B, 5-3B, 2-HR, 16 RBI
    Chicago White Sox - Alejandro de Aza- .329/.400/.520 (.920) with 11-2B, 3-3B, 4-HR, 23 RBI
    Cleveland Indians - Ezequiel Carrera- .243/.301/.312 (.613) with 8-2B, 3-3B, 0-HR, 14 RBI
    Ezequiel Cabrera MILB - 287/.371/.348 (.719) with 8-2B, 3-3B. 2-HR, 25 RBI
    Detroit Tigers - Austin Jackson- .249/.317/.374 (.690) with 22-2B, 11-3B, 10-HR, 45 RBI
    Kansas City Royals - Lorenzo Cain - .273/.304/.318 (.622) with 1-2B, 0-0-3B, 0-HR, 1 RBI
    Lorenzo Cain MILB - 312/.380/.497 (810) with 28-2B, 3-3B, 16-HR, 81 RBI

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    by 03-16-2012, 01:36 AM

    Last week, we looked at a projected Twins Opening Day roster. This week, we’re trying it again. I think that there are 20 “Givens” at this point, three weeks before Opening Day. Of course you can disagree, if you like. I also believe that the five remaining positions are all pretty intriguing and could have several possibilities at this point.

    There are still 57 players in Twins big league camp. If there are 20 ‘givens,’ it technically means that there are still 37 players in camp competing for the remaining five spots. Of course, we know that isn’t really true. Most likely there are two or three players competing for a possible third catcher job. There are maybe two or three players competing for the final utility spot. And there are maybe five to seven pitchers competing for the final three bullpen spots. That means there are nine to thirteen players competing for five roster spots. The remaining players are working to make a strong impression on the coaching staff and front office in case there are needs later in the season for call-ups.
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    by 03-16-2012, 12:02 AM

    With a bullpen that is holier than the Pope, the Twins have been hosting an audition with many of their arms this spring hoping to fill some of the openings.

    Many of the early front-runners have likely exited the race early. Some, like Joel Zumaya, had the misfortunate of being bounced out due to injury. Others, like Terry Doyle and Jason Bulger, have just failed to perform. As a lot of the field continues to falter for one reason or another, Kyle Waldrop has emerged as a potential candidate to head north with the club.

    After coming up through the system working as a starter, Waldrop has made a quick ascension to the upper level since being converted to a reliever. Recently dispatched into short-term work, he has thrived by throwing an impressive sinker that has damaged infield turf all over the minor leagues. In 2010, his first season at the Triple-A level, 64 percent of opponents’ batted balls were of the ground-ball variety. This past year, he upped his ground ball rate to 66 percent at Rochester and, in his brief September call-up, he was inducing grounders at a 75 percent clip with the Twins.
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    by 03-15-2012, 10:17 PM

    The TwinsDaily AL Central Preseason Team's infield is pretty well set. It's time to move to the outfield. Be sure to vote for your choice for "Which AL Central Left Fielder will have the best 2012?" Be sure to vote here.

    The Candidates (2011 stats)

    Minnesota Twins - Ben Revere - .267/.310/.309 (.619) with 9-2B, 5-3B, 0-HR, 30 RBI
    Chicago White Sox - Dayan Viciedo - .255/.327/.314 (.641) with 3-2B, 0-3B, 1-HR, 6 RBI
    Dayan Viciedo MILB - .296/.364/.491 (.856) with 28-2B, 0-3B, 2-HR, 78 RBI
    Cleveland Indians - Michael Brantley - .266/.318/.384 (.702) with 24-2B, 4-3B, 7-HR, 46 RBI
    Detroit Tigers - Delmon Young - .268/.302/.393 (.695) with 21-2B, 1-3B, 12-HR, 64 RBI
    Kansas City Royals - Alex Gordon - .303/.376/.502 (.879) with 45-2B, 4-3B, 23-HR, 87 RBI

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