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MLB Minnesota Twins

5 Minnesota Twins Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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5 Minnesota Twins Storylines to Follow During Spring Training

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No matter how even Major League Baseball is supposed to be thanks to whatever little rules the officials put in to even out the playing field for the small market teams, there remains a pecking order in the game. It would be fairly easy to assume that the Minnesota Twins have been and will remain towards the bottom of that order. The Twins themselves might have a little something to say about that though.

Sure they still have a long shot at winning anything in the postseason or really even getting there by expert opinions but experts have been wrong before. One mission has been on the minds of the GM and Owner in Minnesota and that was to change the conversation about the Twins. They want the Twins to be a factor instead of an afterthought every year.

That is easy enough to say but they went out this offseason and put their money where their mouth was. When they signed Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes it was a shock to the MLB system. Sure they could have been seen as bidding in on the two but for them to actually win the bidding for on both middle of the rotation type starters was awesome for the franchise.

Whether the changes they made will be enough to make a significant difference in the season’s win total remains to be seen. At least the Twins are making themselves a factor in the Spring season’s conversations though and that is after all what they were hoping to do. Chances are if a lot of people are stirred by the conversation about the Twins, it means good things for them this season. Here are five specific storylines to follow during Spring Training.

David Miller is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @davidmillerrant, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5 – How Good will Revamped Starting Rotation Be?

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The offseason additions of Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes as well as the re-signing of Mike Pelfrey make things interesting in Twins-land. None of these guys would be considered Cy-Young threats going into the season but all together they could make a significant upgrade at starter. We’ll see how they arrive.

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4 – Will Josmil Pinto win Starting Catching Job?

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Sure the Twins upgraded the pitching staff but seemed to do little or nothing for the offense. That isn’t too surprising considering the prospects that are on the way but there could be help this year anyway. Josmil Pinto had 4 homers and 12 RBI in just over 20 games last September. Look for him to have a real shot at a lot of playing time if he hits the spring with that same pace.

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3 – How Will Joe Mauer Transition to Full-Time First Base?

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It makes me extremely happy to see Mauer at first base even though he is partially there because of the concussion issue that arose for him. The Twins need his bat worse this year than ever if they hope to make a dent. The move to first should be huge for that to come to fruition. Spring Training will be a really good first look for Mauer as the official everyday first baseman.

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2 – Can Jason Kubel Have Comeback Season?

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Kubel struggled with injury last season but the Twins signed him to a Minor League deal with a Spring invite. Kubel could be a much bigger addition that he appears to be on the surface if he bounces back to his former ability standards. It is very possible the atmosphere in Minnesota will help that situation.

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1 – Who Will Win Fifth Starting Rotation Spot?

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Because of the revamped rotation there will be a battle for the fifth rotation spot. The candidates look to be Samuel Deduno, Scott Diamond and Vance Worley. It has been suggested by some that Deduno has the inside track because of success last season over the other two. Worley can be used in the bullpen as well which is of note because all three are out of options, meaning they would need to clear waivers if they didn’t make the big league club. The drama will ensue when pitchers and catchers report.