The Miami Marlins continue to struggle early on in the season, their record currently sits at an embarrassing 4-15. The team is currently the worst in the majors, but the Chicago Cubs, Houston Astros, and San Diego Padres are not too far behind. Giancarlo Stanton finally collected his first RBI of the season yesterday and had two hits on the day in a 10-6 loss to the Cincinnati Reds. The team hopes he can continue to build off of that.
Apr 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer (left) hits a RBI single during the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
On the other spectrum, the Minnesota Twins come into this series in second place in the tough AL Central. They are just one game back of the Kansas City Royals and Joe Mauer has looked like a leading MVP candidate in the first month of the season.
To preview the series between the Miami Marlins and Minnesota Twins, I had an email chat with Benjamin Noble, the editor of Puckett’s Pond, the Fansided Minnesota Twins site. Ben and his staff do an excellent job of covering everything Twins related. Be sure to check out their great site for all Twins-related news and updates.
Ben and I chatted about everything from the beautiful Target Field to his thoughts on how the recent bad weather following the Twins has affected the team.
Without any further ado, here is my chat with Ben:
Ehsan Kassim: Since the Houston Astros moved to the American League, both leagues now have 15 teams, which means Interleague play all season long. What are your thoughts on that? Do you like it?
Benjamin Noble: Sure; I’ll pick up cheap tickets to random games throughout the season, so it’s nice to have the option to switch it up and see a more ‘exotic’ team when I’m looking through upcoming games to go to.
Ehsan: The Minnesota Twins traded both their center fielders this offseason to National League East
Apr 15, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins outfielder Aaron Hicks slides into first base during the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins defeated the Angels 8-2. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
teams. What was the reasoning behind that and does the team miss those two this season? Were the prospects they received fair value?
Ben: The reasoning behind trading Denard Span for a potential ace-caliber starting pitcher was that we had two MLB-quality starting center fielders and our organization was lacking in high-end arms from the top down. Pretty straightforward; the Twins had been in trade discussions involving Span with Washington off and on for two years. The trade of Span had a ripple effect on the free agent center field market, and Philadelphia made too good of an offer to turn down: Vance Worley and Trevor May; Worley’s young and has had MLB success in the past, and May is a potential #2 starter who was a top-100 prospect coming into last year. Revere has NO power and a horrible arm, and the Twins have a number of top outfield prospects almost ready. The trades meant that Aaron Hicks was rushed into the starting job by a year, but that’s a small price to pay for a team in transition like the Twins.
Ehsan: The Marlins will be making their first ever trip to Target Field. How does the stadium play? What can hitters and pitchers expect?
Ben: It’s a pitchers park, big outfield, and we’ve been dealing with some absolutely horrible weather for this time of year, even by Minnesota standards.
Ehsan: Weather has been bothersome for the Twins as of late. What kind of effect has that had on the team, if any?
Ben: Hicks has started off really rough at the plate, but that’s not much of an indicator when it comes to future big league success or failure. He’s been MLB ready for a couple years now defensively, and in a park like Target Field, his plus speed and plus-plus arm definitely come into play in center. Arcia wasn’t expected to come up until the trading deadline at the very earliest. Neither player will make a huge positive impact on this season’s record, but the experience they gain now will help pave the way for the wave of prospects that will be coming up over the next few years. Buxton was drafted as a toolsy outfielder less than a year ago, so who knows when he’ll be up. Sano is in his first year of High-A, so I would think we’ll see at least a glimpse of him by 2015.
Ehsan: Give me a bold prediction for the series? Which Twins pitcher and hitter will step up for the team this series?
Ben: Bold? Hell, the Twins sweep their first series of the season, albeit a two-game stand. Let’s say Hicks has a breakout game, just because I really want to see it happen, and that Kevin Correia pitches a complete game.
A big thank you to Ben for taking his timeout to talk to us. We at Marlin Maniac wish all Twins fans the best of luck in the upcoming series. If you get a chance, please check out Pucketts’ Pond for some of the best Twins content on the internet.