With temperatures outside dropping well below zero, we're here to warm you up by serving hot takes to answer all your burning Twins-related questions!
Sorry. That was very lame. Anyway, moving on...
Twins Daily Member Kirby_waved_at_me:
How bad does Ricky Nolasco have to be to lose a spot in the Twins' rotation? Conversely, how good does Alex Meyer have to pitch to earn a spot?
If Nolasco pitches as badly as he did last year, they're going to remove him. But if that's the case, some sort of significant injury is going to come to light. He's got too much ability to keep getting rocked to that extent unless there's an underlying issue.
The bigger question is, what do they do if he's performing badly but not terribly (i.e. 4.75 ERA) and there's a guy on the farm who's clearly ready to step in (like, say, Meyer)? I don't know the answer, but I'm very curious to find out.
Twins Daily Member mike wants wins:
Which minor league RP will we see up early? Not a big fan of not using your minor league system for those guys fast, before they get hurt (which seems to be what many, not all, other teams are doing now).
Michael Tonkin will be up early, if not out of camp. A.J. Achter has a chance. Neither Nick Burdi nor Jake Reed has pitched above Single-A, but it wouldn't shock me to see either (or both) up and making an impact in the second half. Those guys can bring it.
@MrNewBrighton on Twitter:
What kind of season can we expect from Joe Mauer in 2015? (I'm hoping for .315 15 HRs 100 RBI #MNTwins
I like the optimism. I won't venture to guess at this point on his home runs and RBI, but I do think he'll get back to batting over .300 with an elite OBP. Nice piece to have around the top of the lineup.
Twins Daily Member stringer bell:
Are the Twins really going to go with their current options for center field? Related question--will Danny Santana see considerable time in center this year?
There's still plenty of time to grab a free agent stopgap -- Colby Rasmus, Nyjer Morgan and Eric Young Jr. are among the remaining available names -- but it looks like they're comfortable rolling with Aaron Hicks and Jordan Schafer. Nothing wrong with that, in my mind. Those two fit nicely as platoon partners and can both offer solid defense. Byron Buxton should be along shortly.
@Ex_Twins_News on Twitter:
MN Native Mark Hamburger has an invite to Spring Training. Does he have a shot at appearing with the big league club in '15?
Hamburger is a great story, so I'm certainly hoping so. He's got a steep hill to climb though. He was unspectacular as a 27-year-old in Triple-A last year and the reliever pipeline is pretty flush in this system.
@Twins_guyTJZ on Twitter:
With enough internal depth at first base i.e.Vargas and Adam Brett Walker, where does Mauer fit into the Twins long-term future?
Hard to say at this point whether Vargas' bat is legit. He's exceptionally strong and certainly looked the part last year, but he doesn't control the strike zone well and pitchers started to take advantage in the last few weeks. He needs to prove himself in 2015, and even then, I think he's a DH. Walker hasn't played above Single-A.
Actually, the name we should be wondering about in this conversation is Sano.
We fielded a bunch more quesitons over at Twins Daily, so feel free to come on by for discussion on Lewis Thorpe's status, Nick Gordon's outlook, Ron Gardenhire's employment situation, and what it will take for the Twins to win the division in 2015.