Although 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
When 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.
In 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
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,
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
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:
10. Trevor May, RHP
9. Lewis Thorpe, LHP
Unanimity. That's something you don't come across too often.
When Greg Maddux's name came up on the Hall of Fame ballot last month, he did not gain unanimous induction despite being one of the most obvious Hall of Famers ever. When Joe Mauer was the clear-cut best player in the league in 2009, he was not the unanimous choice for MVP. Opinions are subjective, and in any vote or ranking, there are bound to be dissenters.
Except when it comes to naming the current best
The rarest and most coveted type of prospect in the Minnesota Twins' system has been the hard-throwing, dominant starting pitcher. Shortcomings in this area have been reflected in the big-league rotation, where a lack of front-end talent has been a primary downfall during the club's recent stretch of misery.
There is no greater need in this organization than a pitcher with the ability to develop into a legitimate No. 1 who can miss bats and regularly shut down opposing lineups.
Now there's a funny question to ask.
Terry Ryan, who has long been billed by his detractors as stingy and overly conservative when it comes to free agency, drawing criticism for exhibiting too much aggression in his approach to the open market? Not long ago, such a notion would have been difficult to comprehend.
Yet, it is fair to wonder if the Twins made the correct choices now that we've seen Matt Garza sign with the Brewers for far
Signed in the same year and from the same Dominican academy as Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco has largely been overshadowed ever since starting his pro career.
Sano received a franchise-record $3.5 million signing bonus and has had a documentary crew exhaustively following his rise to the majors. Polanco signed for "only" $750,000 and didn't experience the type of immediate success that his uber-talented fellow countryman did.
But, with back-to-back stand-out seasons under