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Opposition Research: Nate Gilmore Talks Minnesota Twins

The Minnesota Twins come to town this week to kick off a three-game series in Cleveland. This is the last time we’ll see the Twinkies this year, so I talked to Puckett’s Pond‘s Nate Gilmore about the state of the franchise heading into the offseason and what could change by the time the Indians see the Twins for the first time in 2013.

  • This is the last time the Indians will play the Twins this year. Will we see many new faces when Minnesota comes to town for the first time in 2013? Are there any particular free agents you think the Twins should target?

I hope you’ll see plenty of new faces, because if the Twins bring the exact same team to the field in 2013, the suicide rate among Minnesota fans will skyrocket. I’d love to see them go after some not-too-old pitchers who know how to strike batters out; unfortunately, there aren’t a lot of those on the market. Edwin Jackson and Anibal Sanchez are two players I’d target. But I think most of the Twins’ work will have to be done via trades. They need to acquire young players on the cusp of MLB and begin the full-scale rebuild ASAP.

  • Which Twins players do you expect to be on the block this winter?

Every veteran player the Twins have should be on the trading block. Denard Span, Justin Morneau, and Josh Willingham will probably incite the most trade rumors.

  • What do you expect from Minnesota in 2013?

Honestly, I expect nothing. This team clearly needs a couple years of rebuilding, and we cannot even set our expectations for that until we see what Terry Ryan can do on the trade front. Wins and losses don’t really matter for this team in 2013.

  • Give us a scouting report on the pitchers the Indians will face this week.

The Twins’ starters for this series are P.J. Walters, Liam Hendriks, and Esmerling Vasquez, and if I remember correctly, the Indians have seen all of those guys already this year, so I won’t go into too much detail. All I’ll say about Walters is that part of me wants to cry whenever I see him making a start for the Twins, and if the Indians like home runs, they should have fun in this game. Hendriks is a young guy who hasn’t figured out the Majors yet, but he should be an acceptable #4 starter some day. Vasquez is a late-season experiment for a Twins team with no good options on the mound.

  • What’s your prediction for the series?

I wish I could predict that both teams would lose all three games, because that seems the most likely option. Realistically, I think Cleveland will take two out of three, but they’ll be hollow, meaningless victories.

Tags: Cleveland Indians Minnesota Twins

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