Five questions facing the Twins in 2013:
The Twins have plenty of bodies in camp but are unsure who will go where in the rotation. Last year, they thought they had a set rotation going into camp, but things unraveled quickly. Things are starting off unraveled this year, with several pitchers coming off surgery, so maybe going in reverse order is a good thing. Twins fans await the debut of former first-round pick Kyle Gibson.
Aaron Hicks can make the jump from Class AA with a big spring. But he has a history of initially struggling at a new level. And how will he handle the attention from being next in line after Torii Hunter, Denard Span and Ben Revere? Darin Mastroianni played four games in center last season. FOUR. Joe Benson is a fantastic athlete trying to shake off a lost 2012 season and could be the dark horse.
Pedro Florimon appears to have the inside track to start at short, but the job won't be handed to him. The same thing with Brian Dozier at second. The Twins desperately need stability up the middle and will look to Jamey Carroll or Eduardo Escobar if Florimon and Dozier can't provide it.
The Twins appear to have a dangerous middle of the order if everyone stays healthy. But who will ignite the offense? It looks like whoever plays center field will lead off and whoever plays second base will bat second, but will someone step up and show table-setting ability? Will Joe Mauer have to bat second?
Mauer caught in 72 games last season, was the DH in 42 and played first base in 30 more. The result: career highs for games played and plate appearances. He's making noises about catching more in 2013. That could be a good thing, as it suggests that Justin Morneau will be healthy and at first base more. And the Twins have a different offense when the M & M boys are healthy.
LA VELLE E. NEAL III
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|San Diego St||58|