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Thursday March 11, 2010 10:00 pm

High hopes for Twins’ Kubel




Posted by Adrien Griffin Categories: Athletes, MLB,

Jason KubelWhen a player has a fantastic season, the expectations of him are that much higher the following year, and that is certainly the case right now for Minnesota’s Jason Kubel. He tore it up as designated hitter for the Twins in 2009, and after experiencing some incredible personal and team success last season, Minnesota is hoping to improve in many areas, and while Target Field is one of them, they hope the on field product is that much better.

2009 was the definition of a career year, as Kubel had career high numbers in hits (154), doubles (35), home runs (28), RBI (103), walks (56), and OPS (.907), just to name a few. At 27 years of age, the Twins will be looking to Kubel for another fantastic season as they look to repeat as AL Central Champions, but also hope to win at least one playoff series, let alone a game, which they weren’t able to do against the Yankees last season.

Kubel’s breakout year last year included a number of career highlights that will be hard to top. He hit for the cycle against the Angels on Apr. 17, 2009, capping it off with an upper-deck grand slam. Finishing in the top 10 in the AL in both RBI and slugging will also help boost his confidence. His success garnered him some MVP votes, but he didn’t come close to winning, finishing 24th. Still, that’s a remarkable achievement.

With the highly-publicized ligament tear in Twins closer Joe Nathan’s arm that may require season-ending surgery, Kubel is going to be looked to even more to help boost the team’s offense. Nathan was virtually lights-out in recent years, but now that end of games won’t be as secure, offense will become that much more important for the defending champions. A few extra key hits will help hide the fact that Nathan is missing from the bullpen. It’s a job that Kubel will certainly be up to.

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