Time for a few thoughts about the first month of the Twins season:
- Well, the Twins bullpen leaves a lot to be desired. When you have a knuckleballer in there, a few folks who can't keep the ball down, and Joe Nathan playing less than stellar, things are just not going to go well for this team. Right now it's starting pitching or nothing for the Twins. Maybe the Joe Crede aquisition was the big front page deal of the off-season, but what really stands out is how badly the team needed bullpen help and did nothing but get a very shakey Luis Ayala.
- It sure is different when Joe Mauer plays, huh? When he's in the lineup and catching behind the plate, the Twins have a formidable lineup and strong defense. When he's not, well, you have either the option of Red Dog slapping one over to right field every once in a while or Jose Morales hitting, but struggling to mitt the ball.
- When this pitching rotation gets in synch it could be fun to watch. Unfortunately, it's early and we haven't seen all five of the big arms put it together in the same karma zone. The first time this happens this year, the Twins will vault to first place. Think of it: Baker tosses one of his gems, Slowey follows it up, Liriano dominates, Perkins fools another team and Blackburn looks like he did when he was brilliant at times last year. That will be a hell of a week when it happens -- and it will sometime this season.
- It would be nice to see Joe Crede get a hit.
- It was the right choice to send Alexi Casilla to the minors. What the heck was that we were watching. Two words on Alexi so far this season: Clue Less.
- Isn't it cool that of all the Big Four outfielders that Denard Span is the one producing? Span had that godawful Spring Training and then stepped into the regular season like it was last season again. He's one heck of a leadoff hitter.
- Punto? Come on.
- Ron Gardenhire is doing a pretty darn good job so far. Just on the guts of moving Casilla to the minors and in sticking with Span in the leadoff spot despite pressure to do other things is impressive enough.
- Admit it: we all look over at that new stadium no matter what when we drive down I-94 or are on that side of town. Try not to look next time you're over there. Just try ...