(Have to do this as a Fan Post since I can't link to an email newsletter.)
Joe started his #30-#1 rankings yesterday, and will finish with his top 10 teams tomorrow. Note that the Sox haven't been mentioned yet, so they're in those 10 somewhere. But at # 16 sit the Twins:
16. Minnesota Twins (83-79, second in AL Central, 728 RS, 704 RA). The three most important players on the Twins are Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Francisco Liriano. The three highest injury risks on the Twins are Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Francisco Liriano. Given that the Twins are unlikely to be better than they were last year anywhere except perhaps center field, and their three best players come with question marks, it's not clear how you can be optimistic. The return of Joe Nathan is overrated -- just as his absence was -- as his innings were adequately replaced a year ago and he simply takes them back. The defense was terrible last year and could be worse this year, as we simply don't know what to expect from the new double-play combination. The self-immolation that marks the Twins each year is again present, as they've relegated their third-best starter, Kevin Slowey, to the bullpen, so that Nick Blackburn and his 12% strikeout rate can be victimized by the defense. The combination of all these things in one year screams regression to me; however, I'm already picking them to win in 2012, with Kyle Gibson and Ben Revere playing big roles.
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