We'll get to find out pretty fast whether or not the Twins are going to be a factor in the AL Central race. (And if you ask them, Detroit is the team to beat in the division, not Cleveland. Maybe they've been listening to Rod Allen.)
For the Twins, Matt Garza appears to be on "show me" status with Ron Gardenhire. Even if he's Minnesota's most talented pitching prospect, a spot in the starting rotation isn't assured. If Garza doesn't pitch well, and Kevin Slowey gets his stuff together in the minors, there could be a swap. Based on his performance last week, Garza seems pretty interested in staying. He shut out the White Sox over six innings, giving up five hits with six strikeouts. In one start against the Tigers last season, however, he served up four runs in 4 1/3 innings.
Nate Robertson wasn't great last time out against the Red Sox, but it was good enough to get the win. Before that, he'd earned a loss or no-decision in his last five starts. Last season against the Twins, Robertson notched a 3-2 record with a 3.38 ERA. But we're still waiting to see if he's the same pitcher as he was last year. Maybe he'll be a new man with a refreshed arm in the second half of the season.
▪▪ While both the News and Free Press begin the Gold Glove campaign for Brandon Inge (The Man Without Fear) the Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Joe Christensen makes a case for the importance of Nick Punto's defense at 3rd base for the Twins.