The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports Columns

April 1, 2014

Thoma column: For the remade Twins, 2014 looks like more losing


These things will make the season a success:

n Kyle Gibson establishing himself as a mid-rotation (or higher) starter. (He opens as the No. 5 starter, but he certainly has a higher ceiling than Kevin Correia or Pelfrey.)

n Aaron Hicks hitting well enough to be a corner outfielder when Byron Buxton arrives to take over center field. (Possible but doubtful.)

n Oswaldo Arcia getting a clean shot at establishing himself as a middle of the order bat. (If he plays, he’ll hit. But he may be streaky,and the manager needs to live with those ups and downs.)

n Josmil Pinto’s bat justifying his glove behind the plate. (I think it will.)

n Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier establishing themselves as something more than second-division regulars. (I don’t know that either will hit enough.)

n Michael Tonkin getting a late-inning role in the bullpen. (Please.)

Suzuki, Kubel, Josh Willingham, Pedro Florimon, Correia, Jarod Burton, Jason Bartlett ... they are all essentially irrelevancies. None of them will be part of the next good Twins team.

Probably the best thing the front office did this winter was not get themselves into a position in which the irrelevant players are in the way of the relevant ones.

Edward Thoma (344-6377; maintains his Baseball Outsider blog at Follow him on Twitter @bboutsider.

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