Minnesota is coming off of a 70-92 record where they finished last in the AL Central and had a difficulty scoring runs. The team added veteran Torii Hunter to the outfield and a key member to the rotation in Ervin Santana. Santana is was just suspended 80 games for a PED’s violation and what all Twins fans are hoping for (their prospects) have yet to join the big club. There’s little expectations that the team will be any better than last year and all signs point to another last place finish in the AL Central.
The Tigers are coming of an earlier than expected exit from the playoffs and aren’t getting any younger in their core, so the time is now. The loss of Max Scherzer and Rick Porcello will hurt, however the team is hoping to offset the pitching loss with more offense in the form of Yoenis Cespedes. Regardless, the bullpen issues seem to still exist, the defense will be much better, starting pitching worse, and offense slightly better. Lets see what these guys have!!
My key player of the series: J.D. Martinez
Pitching Match-ups @ Comerica Park
Who to Watch (Minnesota)
- Brian Dozier, 2B – Dozier led the team in home runs and runs scored last season and had a good spring hitting .367 with 3 homers and 6 runs driven in
- Torii Hunter, OF – A fan and clubhouse favorite while in Detroit, Hunter returns to where he started and will be hitting clean-up on Opening Day. Hunter hit .357 with a homer and 6 runs batted in this spring
- Kennys Vargas, DH – Vargas reminds me of David Ortiz a bit with his size and he has good power and hitting tools to back it up. He’s going to strike out but he’ll hit for power over time. Vargas was the only Twin besides Eduardo Escobar to collect double digit runs batted in (Vargas 10, Escobar 20)
Who to Watch (Detroit)
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B – All eyes will be on one of the generations best hitters as he coves off ankle surgery. All early signs show that Cabrera is good to go, as he bashed 3 homers in 29 at bats
- Yoenis Cespedes, OF – The new Tiger power hitter showed more than expected offensively this spring, hitting .311 with 5 homers and 11 RBI
- David Price, SP – Didn’t have a great spring (5.76 ERA), but then again who cares about spring numbers? The teams ace will have to pitch like one for this team to make the playoffs
Who Not to Watch (Minnesota)
- Trevor Plouffe, 3B – Plouffe led the Twins in slugging last year but was off to a slow start in the spring hitting .136 with 13 strike outs
- Phil Hughes, SP – Hughes led the Twins in most major pitching categories last season, but was hit around this spring to the tune of a 5.28 ERA over 15 innings of work
Who Not to Watch (Detroit)
- Victor Martinez, DH – Last years team MVP hurt his knee again in another preseason training incident and is coming off surgery, although unlike Miggy, VMart has struggled this spring as he hit just .143, although 2 of his 5 hits were homers.
- Joe Nathan, CP – Sloppy Joe heads north with the team when many predicted he’d be released for both his lack of on-field contributions and off-field comments. The Bruce Rondon injury pretty much locked in Joe to the roster for now.
- Alex Avila, C – Avila struggled this spring hitting .182, with 15 K’s and various minor health issues. How long until fans are demanding that James McCann get more starts?
Series Prediction: Tigers win 2-1
Next Series: 3 @ Cleveland Indians (0-0)