FORT MYERS, Fla. (WCCO) – The Minnesota Twins take the field for their first game on Saturday.
While it’s only a spring training game, it could be a good indicator for how the team will play this season. After last year’s 99-loss season, fans should feel pretty good that their favorite players are feeling confident about heading onto the field.
“We’ll win games if we’re healthy enough. I don’t think there’s any doubt about that” said Twins General Manager Terry Ryan.
So far at spring training, the Twins are on track to be healthy and be competitive. Joe Mauer has been taking bullpen sessions since the first day of spring training. He spent a majority of the 2011 season on the bench, recovering from knee problems followed by pneumonia.
“We had a lot of guys banged up last year but at this point, everybody’s looking pretty good and ready to go,” Mauer said the first day he reported to camp.
Mauer is not alone. First baseman Justin Morneau said he’s been symptom-free from the concussion he suffered back in 2010. He remains cautious about the upcoming season because there’s no telling when problems will flare up.
Denard Span said his concussion appears to be thing of the past too and we should see him back in the outfield. Infielder Tsuyoshi Nishioka has spent extra time down in Fort Myers. It looks like he’ll take on a utility role this season and has been practicing at third base to back up Danny Valencia.
Ryan said the front office worked hard this off season to bring a lot of high character players in this season. Those players should help with the inconsistencies brought on by injuries and players who left for other teams.
“We had a difficult year last year and I explained what happened. I certainly didn’t want them coming here unless they had the desire,” Ryan said.
“It should be fun, should be exciting,” returning closer Matt Capps said of the new teammates. “It’s always fun to see when you have those new people come in.”
What will be exciting to see is how the players, both new and old, come together on the field and hopefully put a few more wins on the scoreboard.
Tracy Perlman, Producer