PITCHING ROTATION Francisco Liriano 8-13 4.11 ERA Longtime Twins ace was signed to a contract extension late last season. Health has always been an issue for him, but when he's right, he's one of the better pitchers in the game, though will probably never again replicate his magical 2006 season (12 wins, 2.16 ERA). Scott Baker 17-12 4.10 ERA Baker has been a rock-solid pitcher for Minnesota and had a career year in 2012 with 17 wins. He signed a very friendly extension this offseason. Not a fireballer, relies on location and changing speeds to win. Sergio Mitre 10-8 3.86 ERA Journeyman who may have found a home last year. Led Twins starters in ERA and earned himself a late-season team-friendly contract extension. Mitre is another pitcher who relies on location and movement to be effective. Liam Hendriks 1-3 3.46 ERA in 9 starts Hendriks is a young pitcher (23 years old) who won a starting gig last spring training but developed shoulder soreness that took him out for most of 2012. When he did pitch, he was effective and hopes are that his offseason rehab program will allow him to reclaim his spot. Hendriks has a solid arm but relies more on control to win. Kyle Drabek 1-2 6.81 ERA in 11 games for Toronto Drabek is a blue chip prospect acquired from Toronto and is a potential ace, assuming he can "put it all together". Drabek is only 25 years old, but has not yet had any success in the major leagues yet. Drabek boasts very good control, a 5-pitch arsenal and a great curveball. Brad Peacock 9-16 6.05 ERA for Los Angeles and Oakland Peacock is another pitcher acquired this offseason (from Los Angeles) who has a great arm but has yet to translate into major league success. Peacock has youth on his side (25 years old) and has a strikeout arsenal with a very impressive knuckle curve. BULLPEN Sergio Santos 3-4 36 saves, 3.00 ERA for Toronto Santos was acquired via trade from Toronto this offseason. He was converted from shortstop only three years ago and in 2012 posted his second straight season of 30+ saves. Santos will replace Matt Capps as closer and has a deadly slider that induces a lot of strikeouts. Lester Oliveros 2-2 1 save, 3.35 ERA in 35 appearances For a couple of days, Oliveros was officially the Twins closer, but the acquisition of Santos means he will wait for a while. Oliveros is still young (24 years old) and has a very live arm with a good fastball and great slider. He was very good in middle relief last year and will set up in 2012. Glen Perkins 6-3 3 saves, 2.65 ERA Perkins was very good in a setup role last year and will return to do the same in 2012. He is a lefty that induces a lot of ground balls with a solid 3-pitch selection. Perkins has posted sub-3.00 ERAs in each of the past two seasons. Scott Elbert 2-6 1 save, 5.01 ERA for Los Angeles Elbert was included in the massive Mauer trade. He's a lefty who has a good arm, nasty slider and is still young enough to reclaim past success. Elbert is only one year removed from a very successful 2011, when he posted a 2.43 ERA. Anthony Swarzak 5-4 5 saves, 3.49 ERA Swarzak was solid in middle relief last year, and this year, will be used in both middle relief as well as spot starts. He doesn't have a big arm but locates well and gets good movement on his pitches. Collin Balester 0-1 9.88 ERA for Minnesota and Detroit Ballester is a perrenial enigma. Years ago, Washington thought he was a future setup man and ran out of chances. Same happened last year in Detroit. Balester is still young (26 years old), still has a good 93+ MPH fastball and a great curveball. But he will need to show some consistency to stay in Minnesota. Alex Burnett 0-0 2 saves 3.17 ERA Burnett had a very good 2012, with a 3.17 ERA in middle relief. Unfortunately, he was sent to AAA because of a roster crunch. He will almost definitely be brought back to Minneapolis at the first opportunity. Burnett is another pitcher who relies heavily on location. Shawn Tolleson 0-1 1 save, 4.62 ERA for Los Angeles Another young (25 years old) pitcher acquired from Los Angeles, Tolleson has the potential to be a future closer. Tolleson has a plus fastball and slider. He will start the season in AAA where he will have a chance to close games and is a safe bet to be in the Twin Cities later this year. CATCHERS Ryan Doumit .309 10 HR 61 RBI 4 SB Doumit had a very good season at the plate last year, though played mainly as a starter in right field due to the presence of Joe Mauer. Doumit will now play primarily behind the plate and is going to need to stay healthy to contribute. He's a switch hitter with solid, though unspectacular power. JR Towles .238 4 HR 21 RBI 0 SB Towles played backup catcher and had some good moments last season. His primary strength is flexibility, as he's capable of playing the corner infield and outfield spots. Steven Hill .287 28 HR 91 RBI 0 SB in AAA Hill was taken from St. Louis in the Rule 5 draft and will have to stay with Minnesota all season. He had a very good season in AAA and possesses a lot of power in his bat. As a catcher, he's marginal at best, though can also contribute as a corner infielder and outfielder as well. Tim Fiedorowicz .300 0 HR 17 RBI 0 SB in 90 ABs for Los Angeles Fiedorowicz was acquired from Los Angeles in the Mauer trade. He was considered the catcher of the future in L.A. and will have opportunities with the Twins. Fiedorowicz is still young (25 years old), has a very nice arm behind the plate and will have a chance to make an impression with an early season injury to Doumit. CORNER INFIELDERS Justin Morneau .244 12 HR 46 RBI 0 SB The Lumberjack has been a fan favorite in Minnesota since 2006 when he hit .321 with 34 HRs and 130 RBI. Last season, as has been the case recently for Morneau, he had an injury-plagued season. He signed an extension this offseason and will need to stay healthy for the Twins to make a push this year. Danny Valencia .280 16 HR 96 RBI 1 SB Valencia is entering his third season as the regular third baseman for the Twins. Last year, he was the team's most consistent hitter, driving in 96 RBI. He doesn't have enormous power, but the team simply needs him to continue his progress. Mike Rizzotti .286 18 HR 57 RBI 2 SB in AAA Rizzotti is a journeyman first baseman who appears on this list because of the likelihood of a Morneau injury. He is unspectacular but solid. Jorge Vasquez .262 32 HR 93 RBI 0 SB in AAA in 2011 Vasquez was signed late last season and will also be pivotal in the case of an injury. Vasquez is older and has long been a "prospect" that has yet to break into the majors. He is not a great contact hitter but has explosive power. Sean Burroughs .328 12 HR 43 RBI 2 SB in AAA Burroughs is no longer a prospect but will start the season in AAA and will come back to Minnesota when needed. He's a decent fielder but his primary value is as a solid left handed contact bat. MIDDLE INFIELDERS Freddy Sanchez .262 4 HR 20 RBI 0 SB for San Francisco Sanchez was signed as a free agent from the Giants. Sanchez will provide a consistent glove at second base and shortstop, as well as a good contact bat. He is only a year removed from All Star consideration. Juan Uribe .238 15 HR 62 RBI 3 SB for Los Angeles Uribe was acquired in the Mauer trade and will be used as a utility infielder. He's older but has good pop left in his bat and is a more than adequate fielder. Yunel Escobar .324 10 HR 54 RBI 1 SB for Toronto Escobar has emerged as one of the best shortstops in the league and when he came available, the Twins hopped on him. Escobar was an All Star in 2012. He is a good fielder and will add a very good contact hitter to the lineup. Darin Mastroianni .250 0 HR 43 RBI 12 SB Mastroianni emerged as a very valuable utility player last year, playing second base as well as all three outfield spots. Mastroianni has very little power but has good speed and will continue to improve getting on base. Luke Hughes .236 11 HR 36 RBI 0 SB Hughes is a utility infielder that has solid power. Trevor Plouffe .213 4 HR 12 RBI 0 SB in 94 ABs Plouffe is a utilty infielder and outfielder that has decent power. He will start the season in AAA. Alexi Casilla .238 0 HR 16 RBI 5 SB Casilla is a former starter at shortstop that will now have to work his way back to the majors. OUTFIELDERS Ben Revere .298 0 HR 36 RBI 32 SB In 2012, Revere emerged as a top leadoff-type hitter. He fell just shy of .300 and stole more than 30 bases. He has little power and his further development will depend on consistency and improving his on-base percentage. Denard Span .274 3 HR 44 RBI 26 SB Span has been a rock-solid member of the Twins outfield since 2008. Only an injury in 2011 derailed his presence as a clubhouse leader and number-two hitter. Span will need to stay healthy for the Twins to be successful this year. Chris Parmelee .238 4 HR 29 RBI 0 SB Parmelee was supposed to have a coming-out party last year but instead spent much of the year on the disabled list. He is a solid left handed power bat when healthy and, since the Twins did not spend much attention acquiring outfielders this offseason, will be counted on to contribute. Joe Benson .232 5 HR 42 RBI 9 SB Benson had a rough 2012, as injuries and inconsistent play plagued him. He is still young (25 years old) and has good power and speed, but is strikeout prone. Still, he will fill the important role as a 4th outfielder and hopes are high he will have a good 2013. Rene Tosoni .300 7 HR 20 RBI 2 SB in AAA Tosoni will likely be the first outfielder recalled this season. He has solid power and is a decent fielder, though is unlikely to develop into much more than a 4th outfielder. DESIGNATED HITTER Edwin Encarnacion .323 30 HR 107 RBI 0 SB for Toronto Encarnacion comes to Minnesota after an MVP-caliber season in Toronto. He will not provide much if asked to help in the field, but is a great power bat and solid contact as well. His bat is one of the reasons the Twins were willing to trade Mauer and he will be counted on to help stave off the offensive lull that plagued last year's team.