Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is tired of reading scouting reports on the new players in camp. He is ready to identify firsthand who can help him win games, a process that begins Saturday when the Twins travel to Sarasota, Fla., to face the Baltimore Orioles in the Grapefruit League opener.
"I'm making my own decisions," Gardenhire said. "I haven't seen these guys enough to sit there and read reports and have somebody tell me this or that. I want to see them. I need to see these guys. I want to make my own decisions."
As Gardenhire begins the task of choosing players to help the Twins rebound from 195 losses over the past two seasons, let's examine some key battles about to begin:
Lefthander Scott Diamond, who went 12-9 as a rookie last season, is the most successful returning starter but could miss the first week or two of the season after having December surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow. That makes things interesting in trying to figure out who gets the Opening Day assignment.
Former Mets righthander Mike Pelfrey has looked strong in his comeback from Tommy John elbow ligament replacement surgery. Look for Pelfrey or righthander Vance Worley, who came in a trade with Philadelphia, to start the April 1 opener vs. Detroit.
Righthander Kevin Correia is expected to stabilize the back end of the rotation. Spring might be the wrong time to evaluate his two-year, $10 million deal because he is going to leave camp after two starts to be present for the birth on his new child, not to mention that he has a career 5.75 ERA in spring training.
Time for Twins to see what they have
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 23