He was supposed to close out games in the inaugural season at Target Field. He was supposed to be the guy to close out games in an extended playoff run. He was supposed to take over the crown as the closer with the most saves in franchise history.
It may just be a virtual look at the Minnesota Twins’ new home, but with MLB 10: The Show, the realism of Target Field and it’s surroundings show. From the skyline to the plaza to the features such as the celebration sign, the newest ballpark in Major League Baseball has been incredibly constructed in the virtual world.
The plaza, complete with ‘Targets’.
Michael Cuddyer makes the play right in front of the overhang.
How many times will players look up and see no ball?
The backstop feature’s Minnesota native limestone.
The trees in centerfield will act as the Batter’s Eye.
Real bullpens for the first time in 28 seasons.
How much scoreboard watching will there be in 2010?
The Twins’ dugout, relocated to the first base side.
The visitor’s dugout, now down the third base line.
One of the largest scoreboards in Major League Baseball.
The administration building featuring the retired numbers and the party deck.
Now when players ‘Touch ‘Em All’, Minnie and Paul will shake hands.
To see the full size of each of these pictures to get the full effect of your Target Field tour, just click. Baseball has begun down south, and it’s start up north is nearing.
It’s always an interesting discussion as the roster begins to come together each year. With the first games of the spring comes the start of many competitions for positions and roster spots. This year the competitions are more minor, and the roster spots currently up for grabs include a fifth starting pitcher, a final relief pitcher, a backup catcher, and a final bench player.
|Wilson Ramos (C)||With backup catcher Jose Morales expected to miss at least the first part of April, Ramos has suddenly earned a chance to crack the Opening Day roster. His hitting is superior to his competition, but only time will tell if that’s enough for Gardy to take him north with the club.|
|Drew Butera (C)||Butera will also earn a chance to crack the Opening Day roster, and while Ramos is all about offense, Butera is all about defense. A great glove and Triple-A experience could help Butera take the job.|
|Danny Valencia (3B)||While Valencia is viewed by many as the future at third base, he isn’t young by any means. Valencia is 25-years old, and hasn’t yet been called to The Bigs. It’s a long shot that he’ll snatch the job in the next month, but this is his time to show off his skills for a chance in the near future.|
|Alexi Casilla (IF)||Casilla has no more options remaining, and if he doesn’t make the club out of spring training, he’ll almost certainly be with another organization. His option status may actually help him, but he’ll still need to be productive in the next month to secure a roster spot.|
|Matt Tolbert (IF)||Matt Tolbert can play all around the infield, and if he can play centerfield, it’ll make him even more valuable. With one option remaining, the Twins could eventually opt to send him to Triple-A and go with Casilla if spring production is similar or neither blow the team away.|
|Jacque Jones (OF)||When the Twins first brought back Jacque Jones, it seemed to simply be a kind gesture to their former starting outfielder. Jones has an uphill battle to climb, but if he can play extraordinary defense, hit well, and have Tolbert and Casilla falter in their outfield attempts, he has an outside chance to rejoin the organization in Minneapolis.|
|Francisco Liriano (SP)||If Francisco Liriano produces anywhere near the way he did this winter, he’ll likely take the final spot in the rotation easily. It likely won’t be easy with at least two other competitors, but with his contract structured for appearances in the bullpen too, he’s likely to make the team in some capacity.|
|Brian Duensing (SP)||Brian Duensing will have a difficult time knocking Liriano out of the rotation battle if ‘The Franchise’ pitches the way he did in Venezuelan ball, but he seems to also have a shot at the bullpen if he can’t get into the starting five.|
|Glen Perkins (SP)||The general consensus amongst many is that Glen Perkins will be traded. While that may be the case, if he performs well this spring and the offerings aren’t to the team’s liking, Perkins could be kept around as a left-handed option out of the ‘pen.|
|Pat Neshek (RP)||Everybody hopes that Pat Neshek will return to his pre-injury form and put the team’s bullpen over the top. With one bullpen spot open and the extra starters in the mix for the spot as well, it’s possible that Neshek, who hasn’t pitched in a game in 14 months, could pitch for a week or so in extended spring training before joining the team at Target Field.|
|Mike Maroth (RP)||Mike Maroth doesn’t seem to have much of a chance to make the big league roster. Instead, a good spring performance could give him a job at Triple-A Rochester and give him a shot down the line in the event that injuries occur.|
Players line up each spring and smile for their yearly photos. Right as games near a start, the complete roster took their pictures for the 2010 season. For the first time, J.J. Hardy and Jim Thome put on Twins’ uniforms, and the rest of the roster got back into the swing of things too.
Pitchers and catchers have finally kick-started spring training with their arrival in the Minnesota Twins’ spring home of Fort Myers, Florida. Joe Mauer is present and already answering questions about his contract status, and newcomers J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson are in town a week early.
Orlando Hudson: The New York Mets were my favorite team. Roberto Alomar, Barry Larkin, Chipper Jones and Ken Griffey, Jr. were some of my favorite players.
OH: My father and my uncles Lynwood and Boyd helped me a lot growing up. They would have me in the yard playing baseball all the time. My father showed me how to play the game as he was a great baseball player himself, and still loves to play today.
OH: The greatest part of being a professional baseball player is that God chose only a few of us to play the hardest sport there is, and that makes us special. A few of my greatest memories are winning four gold gloves, making two all-star teams, and hitting for the cycle.
OH: It does not matter how early or late you go in the draft, what matters is working hard to get there and stay.
OH: Prayer and family support has helped me to get through the tough injuries. They were just stepping stones God put in my path to make me stronger.
OH: I feel great right now. A normal day for me is getting up to hunt before day break then taking the kids to school. I go to the gym daily. I enjoy spending time with my family and children every day as well.
OH: The primary goal of the C.A.T.C.H. Foundation is to raise awareness and funds about autism while helping families and children cope with it. I have been able to have events in my home town and the city I play in, and raise money that is donated to SARRC, which is a foundation that deals with research for autism. In my home town of Darlington, the money goes to the county Autism Program.
OH: I hope to raise awareness and funds for autism of course, but I also plan to work with the RBI program through my Around the Mound Tour which helps inner city kids get more involved in baseball.
OH: Yes, I talked with several teams, but the Twins were not one of them early on. Minneapolis is a great city and having to play with the best hitter in the game, Joe Mauer, are some of the reasons why I chose Minnesota. Not to mention the great fans!
OH: This will be one great experience with all the speed and power in the lineup.
OH: I have not seen the stadium in person, but I have seen pictures and it looks nice. I know I am going to fr
OH: O-Dog was a name that some of my boys came up with in high school after the movie ‘Menace to Society’ came out. My dad’s nickname is Dog.
OH: I do like the outdoors because of its beautiful nature, but I do not plan to fish or hunt in Minnesota.
OH:: As I continue my career I would like to expand my foundation and open an autistic school in Darlington, South Carolina and hopefully one day make the Hall of Fame. I want to also be known as one of the greatest players to ever play the game of baseball.