Questions everywhere

February 23, 2011 – I checked on the Twins on Monday and I stayed for about 1.5 hours but I walked away kind of bored. The position players still had not reported and the pitchers and catchers were going through their early spring routines. A few minor leaguers were taking some infield practice with TK, nothing extraordinary going on anywhere. Nishioka was as normal to this point, out on a field by himself, doing a little (and I mean little) running if you don’t count his side-kicks who apparently are his translator, nutritionist, and work-out guru. Everyone was looking for Justin Morneau and he was nowhere to be seen but he did eventually hold a news conference later in the day.

The Twins have so many questions as spring training begins, more questions than Alex Trebek has on Jeopardy. What questions? Let me list a few of them for you that come to mind right off the bat, not necessarily in order of importance. 2011 will be an interesting season at the ballpark, you can bet your bippy on it.

  •  Will Justin Morneau be able to come back from his concussion?
  • Can Joe Nathan become the same closer he was before he had TJ surgery?
  • Joe Mauer hasn’t even caught a bullpen session and he already has knee issues.
  • How will Francisco Liriano react to the trade rumors? He is not exactly a Rock of Gibraltar to begin with.
  • Can Alexi Casilla hold down a full-time middle infield spot?
  • Can Tsuyoshi Nishioka play in the majors this season and hold down a middle infield job?
  • Can Danny Valencia improve on his 2010 season without his head getting too big?
  • Can Denard Span bounce back from a poor 2010 season?
  • Can Rick Anderson make silk out of a sows ear in the bullpen?
  • Can Delmon Young repeat his breakout season?
  • Can Jim Thome last another season before his back gives out for the final time?
  • Can Jason Kubel bounce back and play the way he is capable of playing?
  • Will any Twins pitcher show some backbone and make some of those opposing batters dance in the batter’s box once in a blue moon?
  • When are the Twins batters going to quit crying that it is too hard to hit home runs at Target Field?
  • Last year the back drop at Target Field was repainted, after the season the trees have been or will soon be removed. What will Twins batters ask for next? A roof to keep the sun out of their eyes?
  • Who didn’t measure up last year in Gardy’s eyes? Scott Ullger as his third base coach or Steve Liddle as his bench coach? They swapped jobs going into 2011.
  • Can Glenn Perkins and Pat Neshek stay out of Gardy’s doghouse this year? I think they each have one strike left before they are sent packing.
  • Will Gardy actually let his players steal some bases this year?
  • Can the Twins ever get over the “Yankee” hump?
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