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Twins To Open Season Today At Chicago

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins are set to open the 2014 campaign Monday afternoon with a game in Chicago against the White Sox (2:40, WJON). There may not be a ton of optimism for the Twins in 2014, but there are a few reasons to keep at least one eye on the team this season.

- CF Aaron Hicks- Hicks is a prospect with a ton of pedigree, but the 26-year-old failed spectacularly when handed the starting center fielder job before the 2013 season. With superprospect Byron Buxton waiting in the wings, this is a make-or-break season for Hicks.

-C Josmil Pinto- Pinto may be eased into the starting role early in the season, taking a backseat to veteran Kurt Suzuki. Pinto showed his aptitude with the bat last season (.342 as a late-season call up) and needs his defensive skills to catch up.

- 3B Trevor Plouffe- Plouffe has held the third base job almost by default while the team waits for prospect Miguel Sano to arrive. Plouffe has shown the ability to hit the cover off of the ball at times, but also suffers from long stretches of ineptitude. If Plouffe smacks 25-30 home runs this season, the Twins will have an interesting choice to make at the position.

-SP Kyle Gibson- The Twins held an open competition in spring training for the fifth starter spot. Conventional wisdom said the Twins would go with either Sam Deduno or Scott Diamond in that spot, as both are out of minor league options. However, the Twins onetime top pitching prospect won the job outright with a very strong spring. Two years removed from Tommy John surgery, Gibson will have a chance this season to establish himself as a top-flight starter.

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