INFORUM.com | WDAZ.com

WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 31, 2013, 10:24 PM

WDAY's Jody Norstedt gives us his Twins Season Preview

(WDAY TV) -- Baseball season begins tomorrow, and if there's ever been a year where the Twins could sneak up on someone, this would be it. That's one of the perks if you could call it that, of finishing in last place in the division the last two seasons.

By: Jody Norstedt, WDAY

(WDAY TV) -- Baseball season begins tomorrow, and if there's ever been a year where the Twins could sneak up on someone, this would be it. That's one of the perks if you could call it that, of finishing in last place in the division the last two seasons.

When Twins fans saw their team move into this beautiful new ballpark,

they didn't have this in mind.

Just 3 years into their new digs, and the Twins already have back-to-back seasons of 66 wins or less. And last year attendance dropped 5,000 people per game. So, where's the hope?

Well, patience may be the key. After having one of the worst starting rotations in baseball the last two years. The Twins replaced the Pavano's and Blackburn's with names like Worley, Correia, and Pelfrey. But, the spring didn't offer much optimism. All 3 of those players had an ERA over 5. Scott Diamond returns after a solid first year, he should be ready to go in mid-April after an elbow injury.

The player to watch, has to be rookie center-fielder Aaron Hicks, I think there's a reason Terry Ryan wasn't afraid to give up Denard Span and Ben Revere this winter. Hicks hit around .350 this spring enough to earn him the lead-off spot, but the jump from double-A to the bigs will be tough.

If Hicks gets on base, scoring runs won't be an issue. Joe Mauer has been moved up to the 2-hole, followed by mashers Josh Willingham and Justin Morneau. Willingham proved that home runs could be hit by the home team in Target Field, blasting 35 of them last year. Meanwhile, Morneau could be playing his final season in Minnesota, he'll be a hot name at the trade deadline.

My take, Twins fans will have to suffer through another long year, but the team is close to turning the corner. They win 73 games, but finish last in the Central. And if I'm right will manager be the next big question?

The opener is at 3 tomorrow, Vance Worley for the Twins against Justin Verlander and Detroit.

Tags: