Photos and Stories by Gordy Jones
All Five Twins Starters Are Gone!
Before the season, I also thought that Danny Valencia would have a “career” year. On the contrary, he had a terrible year. Then last week I talked about how Danny walked a fine line between confidence and cockiness. I went on to say he always treated me fairly…and that if you can’t play at big-league level, your gone, whether you’re a prince or a bad guy. But then I screwed up: I said I thought he would make a comeback. I mentioned how a Boston infielder’s misfortune of an injury wasDanny’s big break, when he was promoted to the Red Sox right after he reported to Triple-A Pawtucket. Since then, he’s already been demoted back to Pawtucket.
I was correct in a few predictions and observations:
I wrote that Jamey Carroll would be a solid infielder, that he was quick and wiry, and that he played like he was 28 rather than 38.
After meeting Josh Willingham at spring training I was pretty sure he’d be a nice fit here. After watching him hit, I wrote that he’d hit more than 25 homers.
Before the season, I wrote that Trevor Plouffe would find a spot on the “big” club. I also said that he had power, and that he might have a nice streak of home runs this season. That came true, but his streak ended when he injured his thumb, although I think he’ll hit a few more this year. I never dreamed he’d hit into a triple play this year, though.
I love the nice surprises! Pedro Florimon, Darin Mastroianni, Cole De Vries, and ScottDiamond have been great, and Ben Revere has come into his own — on both offense and defense.
It will be fun to watch the Minor Leaguers play up here once their season is over, and the Twins’ roster expands to 40. The way things are going, one of these kids could be next year’s sensation. And hopefully, we will have some new “proven” veterans on the team by next spring to help the Twins get back into the playoff mix.
There’s still plenty of baseball left this year; we could be spoilers, and there are still some fun Twins charity events to come. But I’ve already bought my ticket for spring training in Florida, and my mind is on 2013.