Ten Reasons to be optimistic about 2009:

On Saturday, La Velle Neal III, penned 5 questions about the Twins entering this season. Here, not in a direct response, I am listing 10 reasons why the Twins' fans should be optimistic about 2009:

  1. Carlos Gomez spent the off-season working specifically on his plate discipline both in the Dominican Winter League and in Spring Training and the results show that all that work paid dividends. In addition, he worked out on his physique, translated to a bigger lower body. That also paid dividends, since he was the co-leader in Spring Training with 3 home runs and led the team with 5 stolen bases

  2. Delmon Young is beginning to show some power. Like Gomez, he also had 3 home runs to co-lead the team in Spring Training.

  3. The quest for quality set up may be over. Jesse Crain, another year removed from shoulder surgery and with a newly found sharpness in his curveball had a fantastic spring both with the Twins and team Canada in the WBC. Louis Ayala was not scored upon with the Twins this spring training and Craig Breslow led all relievers with 10.77 K/9

  4. Joe Mauer is getting better. Friday, he took swings off a tee and caught R.A. Dickey on the side.

  5. R.A. Dickey was probably the surprise of the spring. He showed both great control (4.5 K/BB) and excellent strike out ability (9.5 K/9), a rare feat for a knuckleball pitcher, suggesting that his performance as a reliever last season was not a fluke and that he can be an integral part of this team in 2009

  6. Justin Morneau and Jason Kubel had great springs. They led the Twins in power numbers last season and they are set to be even better this season. Morneau's slight back issues are a thing of the past, since he played with no pain

  7. Mike Cuddyer's performance is suggesting that he is set to put 2008 in the rear view mirror and have a very good season in 2009 (a contract season for him, which will determine whether the Twins will pick his option for 2010.)

  8. Joe Crede had 53 AB and there was no pain in his back

  9. The rotation, including its newest temporary appointee, R.A. Dickey, and excluding the injured Scott Baker, was nothing short of excellent, led by Kevin Slowey who continued to build on his 2008 by posting the following otherworldly numbers: 11 K/BB, 7.83 K/9, 0.87 WHIP. Kevin will be a Cy Young candidate this year

  10. Last but not least, the Twins finished the spring with a 19-13 record and a .594 winning performance, tying in second with the 2003 team, behind the .625 2006 team, in the Gardenhire era. As I showed earlier the spring training record for these Twins, does translate to season success, and based on Spring 2009, 2009 will be a very successful season for the Twins.

The season starts tomorrow. Twins fans should enjoy the run to the fourth world championship of the franchise and the third in the Metrodome, so appropriate in its last year of hosting the team.

1 comment:

Marv said...

Optimism is so much more fun than the alternative.
If the Twins get healthy and stay healthy there appears to be no reason they shouldn't have an excellent season.
I like your predictions!

Go Twins!