Now that pitchers and catchers have reported to Spring Training, we can officially begin to take a hard look at the upcoming season, and what better way to start than to look at the 2012 schedule. The 2012 schedule starts off with a three game series in Baltimore, but after that their will be no room for error with a tough sixteen game stretch that features the Rangers, Yankees, and The Los Angeles Angels.
The American League Central will be an exciting opportunity for the Twins to win some games. With the exception of the Detroit Tigers, the rest of the division appears to be searching for answers. The Twins will have to improve upon last years 30-42 record in the AL Central if they plan on making waves. The Twins play eighteen games (nine home games, nine away games) against each division foe.
The Twins have some exciting interleague match-ups this season. The Cubs will make their first trip to Target Field in June, and their first trip to Minnesota since 2006 when they met Johan Santana in the Metrodome (Santana went eight, striking out six, with one earned run). The Phillies will also visit Target Field for the first time this season. It will be Philadelphia’s first trip to Minnesota since 2005. Minnesota also travels to Pittsburgh and Cincinnati this season.
The Twins first meeting with the Brewers will take place in Milwaukee on May 18th, but it won’t be the daunting task it once was. With Prince Fielder leaving for Detroit and Ryan Braun awaiting word on his positive test for elevated testosterone levels, most of the pop in the bats of the Milwaukee lineup will be gone.
The Twins have been struggling against AL East opponents in the last few years, so 2012 will provide some relief as the Twins only play thirty-four games out east (seven each against the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, and Orioles, and six against the Rays). The Twins will play the bulk of their out-of-division schedule against the AL West with thirty-eight games against the four western division opponents (ten games against the Mariners and Rangers, nine against the Angels and A’s).
The Twins definitely have a favorable schedule this upcoming season, but will it be enough to challenge the defending American League Central Champion Detroit Tigers? With Spring Training underway, be sure to check Puckett’s Pond daily for the latest news from Ft. Meyers.