Josh Willingham's career-high 35 home runs and 110 RBIs in 2012 raised expectations for what the Twins left fielder can do for an encore, though he has enough self-awareness to keep it real. "Yeah, if I don't hit 50 this year I'm going home," Willingham quipped after arriving at spring training Friday, Feb. 15, for an early workout with pitchers and catchers. "Nah, I don't know what I did for myself. I've never hit that many home runs or driven in that many runs before. A lot of that had to do with guys at the top of the order. Joe (Mauer), hitting ahead of me. He's on base all the time. "I don't set number goals, anyway. One of the keys is to be healthy." Willingham played in a career-high 145 games last season after Minnesota signed him for a relative bargain -- three years, $21 million. He hit 29 home runs with 98 runs batted in for Oakland in 2011. But nestled in the cleanup spot between Mauer and Justin Morneau, the right-handed hitting Willingham was locked in all season, posting an on base-plus-slugging percentage of .890, eighth highest in the American League. He credited Denard Span and Ben Revere for creating run-scoring opportunities at the top of the lineup last season. Those speedy outfielders, however, were traded away this offseason for coveted starting pitching.
Josh Willingham's numbers goal is zero injuries
St. Paul Pioneer Press | Feb 16