Twins outfielder Josh Willingham is optimistic that the offense will be productive this season, but one key will be who replaces outfielder Denard Span and Ben Revere at the top of the order. Both were traded during the offseason for pitching help, leaving the Twins without two players who could get on base and use their speed. "A lot of it is going to depend on the top of the order,'' said Willingham, who reported to camp on Friday. "Denard and Ben did a lot of good things for us, offensively and defensively. We're going to have to get some people to step up and pick up some of the slack.'' Because of Span, Revere and No. 3 hitter Joe Mauer getting on base, Willingham had a career-high 110 RBI last season to go with a career-high 35 home runs, ninth most in club history in a single season. Someone mentioned to Willingham that he set the bar high for himself this season. "If I don't hit 50 [homers] this year, I'm going home,'' he joked. "I've never hit that many home runs before or driven in that many runs before. A lot of it had to do with some guys at the top of the order. Obviously Joe. Hitting behind him, he was on base all the time.''
Seeking table-setters to replace traded Span, Revere
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Feb 16