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Who will be the 5th starter?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:17 PM
The venerable Strib posted a Q&A with Terry Ryan. His response to a question on pitching is below. I read it as: - He acknowledges Gi...
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Cole Hamels

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:07 PM
Ignoring the no trade clause, if you were the Twins' GM would you trade for Cole Hamels?  If so, what would you give up.  ...
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Article: Can Aaron Hicks Be Fixed?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:09 PM
One of the more critical openings the Minnesota Twins will have this year is in center field. If all goes well, that job will be Aaron Hi...
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Who's the back-up catcher on this squad?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:57 PM
Kurt Suzuki is the Twins everyday catcher, but even as the everyday catcher, someone else is going to need to kneel behind the plate a co...
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Article: Minnesota Twins Sign Reliever Tim Stauffer

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 04:57 PM
Those Twins fans hoping that the last spot in the Twins bullpen this year might go to a failed ex-starter may have gotten their wish toda...
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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.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
"Gotta play everybody," he said, downplaying any significance. "Gotta see how they do against lefties, that's why he was out there tonight."

From my view, Aaron Hicks should still be viewed as the favorite to win the job, especially since Darin Mastroianni isn't a factor and Wilkin Ramirez is less-than-ideal as the sole CF backup. But keep in mind that Hicks missed time with an injury this spring and hasn't yet shown that he can dominate Triple-A pitching.

I know a lot of fans scoff at the notion of Presley in the lineup to start the season, but he's proven to be a decent hitter in the majors. Just because he's not the most exciting choice doesn't make him the wrong choice, at least not initially.

Remember: even if Hicks starts in Rochester, he's only a phone call away.

* For what it's worth, Rob Antony offered up a pretty frank assessment of the battle between Hicks and Presley for the center field job: "Hicks hasn’t been anything special this spring. Neither has Presley. There’s your center field battle."

* Rather than follow Gardenhire and Co. on the three-hour trip to Jupiter, I stayed back in Ft. Myers today to chat with some of the remaining players and watch Mike Pelfrey, Glen Perkins and Jared Burton throw on the minor-league side. They all looked fine.

* Also in the stands for the Single-A game that featured Burton and Perkins was a familiar smiling face. Miguel Sano, exactly one week removed from his Tommy John surgery, was shouting encouragement in Spanish and joking with friends. As you can see, he's sporting a massive cast on his right arm:

Attached Image: sano319.jpg
* You can see some more newly uploaded photos from around the complex over at the Twins Daily Facebook page. Make sure to give us a "Like" to follow all the action!

* In Jupiter, Kyle Gibson started against the Cardinals and was outstanding, allowing just one run on a solo homer over 4 1/3 innings. He struck out four and walked none, inducing seven ground ball outs.

Samuel Deduno came on in the sixth and cruised through two innings before running into some trouble in the eighth, when he allowed a couple runs on two doubles and two walks. His ERA this spring still sits at 2.19.

Deduno still hasn't made a start or pitched more than three innings in an outing this spring, so it seems like he's destined for the bullpen.

Based on performance, and talent, Gibson should probably be the leading contender in the battle for the fifth rotation spot, but I still have a hard time seeing it. The Twins simply don't have much to lose by sending him to Rochester for a few weeks.

That said, Scott Diamond has to be feeling a little pressure as he prepares to take the mound against the Rays in Port Charlotte tomorrow night.


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