With Thanksgiving come and gone, I wanted to share some Twins-related items that I am thankful for. With back-to-back-to-back terrible seasons in the books, it can be very easy to dwell on the negatives. I think there are still plenty of reasons to be positive about our favorite team.
I'm thankful for the off-season. No matter how poor the season, the off-season comes with promise and excitement. The Twins have one of the worst starting rotations in all of baseball, but in the off-season, there are tons of names available. The Twins already signed Ricky Nolasco. Maybe they'll add Matt Garza too. They could trade for Homer Bailey or David Price. They could announce that Alex Meyer will be in the rotation next year. The possibilities are endless, regardless of how realistic they are. In the off-season, hope is King. I love it.
I am thankful for Joe Mauer's health. Now, I don't know that he will remain healthy, but if he is symptom-free right now, I'm thankful. Mauer's move to first base was analyzed with a microscope, but in my opinion, a good hitter is a good hitter at first base too. Mauer might not hit a lot of home runs, but he provides overall power and makes outs at one of the lowest rates in this generation. In a game where outs are the clock, staying safe is very valuable. More importantly, if moving to first base saves Mauer from even one future concussion, it's more than worth it for fans and for Mauer's life-long health.
I am thankful for Kevin Correia. Yeah, that's right. The much-maligned Correia did exactly what he's always done. Correia took the ball when it was his turn and he gave the Twins valuable innings. Some of those innings fell apart quickly, but still. He gave the team 185 innings, which were innings not pitched by the likes of Pedro Hernandez and P.J. Walters. I expect more of the same from Correia in 2014 and in the end, his contract won't look that bad. The Twins might even consider him for 2015.
I am thankful for the boatload of prospects that the Twins have right now. Baseball Prospectus released their Twins' top 10 last week and did so to much fanfare. Jason Parks of BP stated that the Twins have the best farm system in baseball and that their 11-20 might be better than some franchises' top 10. Wowzers. I am thankful for the fact that I will get to watch Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Alex Meyer, Eddie Rosario, Kohl Stewart and many more. We might just get to watch them soon too. Very exciting.
I am thankful for the off-season once more. In the off-season, we can hope that we get rebound performances from Vance Worley, Aaron Hicks and Kyle Gibson in 2014. They aren't playing right now, so we can't get any negative reports. All we can do is wait to see how they emerge next season. If the Twins get positive contributions from two of those players, the 2014 season could be surprisingly good. If they get positive contributions from all three? Wowzers #2. In the off-season, we can dream.
I rarely ask for comments anymore, but please share what you are thankful for in the comments below. I would love for everyone to see the many reasons why being a baseball fan in Minnesota is still a wonderful thing. I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!