Five Players Not Named Mauer That the Twins Need To Win the World Series
The Minnesota Twins clinched the American League Central earlier this week. Every year, the Twins seem to make the playoffs even if they don't have the best talent.
Joe Mauer is the best player and linchpin of this Twins team, but there are many other players you don't know that are crucial to the success of this team.
Here are five players who need to have a big postseason for the Twins to have a shot at winning the World Series.
2010 Stats: 14-8, 3.44 ERA, and 191 Ks
After a few injury-plagued seasons, Francisco Liriano has returned to the form he displayed in 2006, before his Tommy John surgery.
The Twins have been looking for an ace ever since Johan Santana left three seasons ago. Liriano might be the missing piece that the Twins have needed to take the next step.
Liriano has to be the Twins' ace in the postseason if the team expects to move beyond the divisional round this October.
2010 Stats: .280 BA, 25 HRs, and 59 RBI
Every season, teams pick up Jim Thome as a bat for their bench, and every year he proves that he still has a lot left.
In just 105 games this season, Thome has put up some pretty impressive power numbers, leading to a lot more starts as the Twins' DH over the past two months. The Twins need Thome's power bat in their lineup, especially with Justin Morneau out.
Thome has had pretty good power numbers in the postseason over his career; the Twins hope that that trend continues this year.
2010 Stats: 41 SVs, 2.57 ERA, and 55 Ks
Joe Nathan was the rock of the Twins' bullpen for the past several years, shutting down most teams in the ninth. Now that he is out with an injury, the Twins have put their faith in their new closer Matt Capps.
Capps, who was acquired at the trade deadline from the Washington Nationals, has pitched very well for the Twins down the stretch. The Twins also acquired another closer, Brian Fuentes, during the waiver period in August.
Although the Twins have a backup plan for Capps in case the postseason rookie struggles, just one blown save could put a stop to the team's World Series hopes.
2010 Stats: 17-11, 210 IP, 3.60 ERA, and 112 Ks
World Series winners always have a good one-two punch in the starting rotation. The Twins hope that Carl Pavano is the "two" that they are looking for.
Pavano's resurgence is a surprise to most in baseball, especially to Yankees fans. Pavano is pitching this season like he did in his stint with the Marlins, which got him a big contract.
The Twins need Liriano and Pavano to be a solid one-two combo or they will face an early exit in October.
2010 Stats: .299 BA, 18 HRs, 105 RBI
Delmon Young was always projected to be a five-tool player in the league, but it has taken a few years for him to get to that point. 2010 has been a breakout season for the former first-round pick of the Tampa Bay Rays.
Young has been a solid piece in the Twins' outfield this year, while picking up some of the slack after the loss of Justin Morneau. The next hurdle for Young: How will his recent success translate into postseason production?
The Twins don't have a standout power threat on their team without Morneau, so they need everyone to pitch in, especially Delmon.