Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Twins Face Endurance of Long, Long Schedule

With SS Luis Castillo struggling with sore legs, OF Shannon Stewart out with bad feet and 2B Nick Punto, C Joe Mauer and OF Jason Kubel all with bad knees, the Twins greatest challenge of the season remains before them. Beginning at the end of the month, Minnesota will play 33 games in 34 days, with only one day off, Sept 18. It's an exhausting pace not only for the tired and injured, but for the relief corps and the starting staff. Even healthy players such as youngsters Jason Tyner and Jason Bartlett, both with hefty .300 batting averages at the bottom of the lineup, will be challenged as both are without the familiarity of how to endure a grueling schedule at the end of a long, long season. Though the Twins have come to the brink of overtaking the Chicago White Sox in the Wild Card rankings, don't be surprised if the team begins to stumble.