Five spring story lines
1. Hicks’ third chance
Aaron Hicks used strong spring trainings in 2013 and 2014 to earn a spot on the Opening Day roster. You get the sense this year that it’s not about what numbers the center fielder puts up, but how he goes about it. Will he be the aggressive, attacking hitter the Twins think he can be?
2. Bounce back for Mauer?
So far, so good for No. 7. Joe Mauer says he feels great and likes his swing early in camp. Now he’s trying to incorporate more of his legs into his swing again so he can drive the ball more. However he does it, he has to show he’s going to be a .300 hitter again.
3. Glimpse of the future
Enjoy Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton, Eddie Rosario and Jose Berrios as much as you can before they are cut from camp. All should see plenty of game action early on. They are reasons why this is one of the most talented spring training rosters the Twins have had in years.
4. Who’s in the pen?
Aside from Glen Perkins, Casey Fien and Brian Duensing, bullpen spots look to be up for grabs. Watch out for righthander Stephen Pryor and Rule 5 righthander J.R. Graham if they can find their control.
5. battle for No. 5
This is a hard field to handicap. Alex Meyer might be the most talented. Trevor May showed improvement late last season. Tommy Milone is lefthanded with a good track record. Mike Pelfrey is finally healthy. And Tim Stauffer wants to take success as a reliever and apply it to a starter’s role.
la velle e. neal iii