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Published April 05, 2012, 10:19 PM

Dom Izzo's 2012 Minnesota Twins Preview

Minneapolis, MN (WDAY TV) - Tonight must be like Christmas Eve for Twins, hoping the big present under the tree is a return trip to the postseason. The new season begins tomorrow and not soon enough for Minnesota, ready to turn the page from a disastrous 2011, with plenty of questions to answer.

By: Dom Izzo, WDAY

Tonight must be like Christmas Eve for Twins, hoping the big present under the tree is a return trip to the postseason. The new season begins tomorrow and not soon enough for Minnesota, ready to turn the page from a disastrous 2011, with plenty of questions to answer.

Scenes like this were the norm for the Twins last year. Minnesota underwent a min-makeover in the offseason, bringing back Terry Ryan to run things and adding "typical" Twins players like Jamey Carrol, who plays solid defense and gets on base a lot. The Twins made a commitment during the spring to play better defense, something they couldn't be any worse at last year.

The defense will be tested in the outfield. Josh Willingham will try to replace Michael Cuddyer's bat, but he's never going to win a gold glove, while Ben Revere has great range but no arm.

The starting rotation is always a question mark. Carl Pavano will start tomorrow's opener, and needs a bounce back year. So does Francisco Liriano, who has no-hit stuff when he's on. The bullpen is no given either where closer Matt Capps lost his job last year.

The biggest questions surround the two former MVPs. How many games will Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau be able to play this year? Mauer has by all signs had a terrific spring, and Morneau has displayed some recent power. If these two can stay on the field, and with some young prospects on the rise, notably Chris Parmelee, the Twins will be better this year...just not playoff better. Minnesota will go 75-87 this year and finish 4th in the AL Central.

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