TMS Team Preview: The 2016 Minnesota Twins

Over the coming weeks, Thunder Matt's Saloon will have previews of all 30 MLB teams. We're starting at the bottom and working our way up based on the current Vegas odds for winning the 2016 World Series.

Today we look at the Twins
Keeping it trim fellas!

2015 Finish: 83-79 (2nd Place in AL Central)

So Long: Neal Cotts, Brian Duensing, Torii Hunter, Mike Pelfrey, Aaron Hicks

Welcome: John Ryan Murphy, Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Quentin

Projected Lineup (via Rotochamp.com)
1. Byron Buxton, CF
2. Brian Dozier, 2B
3. Joe Mauer, 1B
4. Miguel Sano, LF
5. Trevor Plouffe, 3B
6. Byung-Ho Park, DH
7. Eddie Rosario, RF
8. Kurt Suzuki, C
9. Eduardo Escobar, SS

Starting Rotation: Phil Hughes, Ervin Santana, Kyle Gibson, Ricky Nolasco, Tyler Duffey
Setup: Kevin Jepsen, Michael Tonkin
Closer: Glen Perkins

Rap Lyric Describing Their 2015 Season:
"If you're tired of the masturbator/Come on over 2 my neighborhood/We can jump in the sack and I'll jack U off"

   -Prince, Jack U Off

If it hasn't become obvious yet, I'm terrible at finding rap lyrics for this shit. Prince is from Minnesota and his filthy ass lyrics always seem like a fun juxtaposition to the overall wholesome nature of the state. So there you go.

The Twins really had no business finishing the AL Central in second place last year. Yet there they were, actually vying for a Wild Card spot late in the season. Gone is Torii Hunter who seemed to be a pretty big leader in the clubhouse last year. We'll see if his absence will have a big impact on the young players or not. Joe Mauer is still around though and largely forgotten about in the other 49 states. Two of their longtime hot prospects Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano should start the season with the club and look to make big strides in the majors.

The pitching staff is about as bland as you get. From Phil Hughes to Kyle Gibson to other non-descript caucasian I can't remember. None of them are big time strikeout artists. I'm not saying you need to have a team full of Kershaws to win but it helps to have ANYONE that could maybe post a K/9 north of 6. But man it'll be something to watch these guys pitch to contact huh?


Reason To Watch: Miguel Sano's bat. This kid has legit power and if he can settle in at the major league level he will be a real treat to watch on offense.

Reason To Drink: Miguel Sano's glove. From what I've gathered, Sano has bricks for hands apparently. While DH is always an option I'm sure the Twins would like to have a little more positional flexibility on their hands here. With big Korean import Byung Ho Park on board as well, Molitor will have to do a bit of lineup juggling to get Sano's bat in there without causing a massive defensive liability.

The Fans: I don't know. They're probably pretty good people and come April most of the ice has melted up there so they won't be ice fishing. You know what I like about you Minnesotans though? Grain Belt beer. That's some good stuff.

Their Worst Contract: Joe Mauer. Well, this is by default as he's the only player on the team with an actual contract. The rest of the roster are unpaid interns or have been funded through Kickstarter or other crowdsourcing ventures.

Fantasy Standout: Prince. He can play like 25 instruments!
I only read Hustler for the Bukowski pieces...
Fantasy Bust: Any Twins pitcher. Just stay away. None of them are gonna win a lot of games and they strike out no one. Also you can't tell them apart except for Ervin Santana. Is that racist? That kind of sounds racist.

The Pop Culture Equivalent To This Team Is: Kenny Loggins. Completely non-offensive and there's at least one song of his you probably like. Like the Twins, can anyone really HATE Kenny Loggins?

Keep that fire going Kenny. You fucking keep it going!

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