Twins players are sprinkling into Ft. Myers for voluntary workouts, and pitchers and catchers begin official workouts on Monday. After a dreadfully slow offseason, spring training is almost upon us. The lack of activity from the Twins this winter has unfortunately led to a relative lack of updates on this blog, but now that we’re on the verge of some actual baseball being played I can finally start to get back into the groove.
I’ll have a Spring Training Preview up sometime next week, and I’m also pretty eagerly anticipating the World Baseball Classic. A lot of baseball fans I’ve spoken with seem pretty ho-hum about the WBC, but I’ve never really understood this sentiment. It’s an opportunity to watch baseball earlier than we usually do… what could be wrong with that? And while the actual meaningfulness of the tournament is debatable due to a lack of history and legacy, I think we can pretty safely say that the games carry more significance than your typical spring training exhibition affair. Plus, prospect buffs will potentially get a chance to see prospects like Luke Hughes and Carlos Gutierrez in action, which can otherwise be tough unless you live in Florida or New York.
Getting back to the subject of spring training exhibitions, I’ll be tripping down to Ft. Myers in mid-March to catch a Twins game or two. The last time I ventured down to Florida to experience some spring baseball was in 2004, where I was able to catch a glimpse of Joe Mauer in action sooner than most. It was a great experience and I’m looking forward to getting down there again next month. I’ll be sure to snap some photos and report anything interesting. If anyone else is planning on heading down there, feel free drop me a note.
Barring a Joe Crede signing, it appears that the Twins are pretty much done with their offseason moving and shaking, and will roll into the Lee County Sports Complex in Ft. Myers with a group that is largely the same as the one they finished with last year. I’m feeling considerably more positive about the team’s chances than I did one year ago, and this season should feature some interesting storylines, such as: young players working to grow as hitters, a bullpen looking to bounce back from a miserable second half, youthful pitchers fighting to fend off regression, and an overcrowded outfield with more starting-caliber players than spots available. And, of course, it’ll all go down in the very last year of the Metrodome’s existence as a major-league ballpark.
Spring has sprung once again, and it’s an exciting time of year for baseball fans. Let’s get down to business.