MINNEAPOLIS -- With subzero temperatures in the Twin Cities this week, Spring Training can't get here soon enough.
But it's right around the corner, as Twins pitchers and catchers are set to report on Feb. 12 in Fort Myers, Fla., with the position players right behind them on Feb. 15.
It's also a big week with the annual Diamond Awards set for Thursday night before TwinsFest this weekend at the Metrodome.
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Are the Twins looking at some affordable free agents and maybe swooping in and getting them before Spring Training?
-- Noah M., Northfield, Minn.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan has publicly stated that he's likely done making any more significant moves this offseason. But it doesn't mean that he's not checking in with current free agents to see if there's a match before Spring Training.
The Twins still have interest in starting pitchers such as left-hander Joe Saunders, and could add another third baseman to the roster, a player such as Brandon Inge. But Ryan has said that he's happy with the current roster if they don't add any more pieces this offseason.
The rotation is currently set to include left-hander Scott Diamond along with newcomers and righties Mike Pelfrey, Vance Worley and Kevin Correia. The fifth spot is up for grabs with candidates including Kyle Gibson, Liam Hendriks or Cole De Vries.
The Twins are also hoping to try Rich Harden as a starter after signing him to a Minor League deal, but there's still a chance he could be used as a reliever. The key will be Harden's health, as he last reached the 100-innings plateau back in 2009 and has never pitched 200 innings in a season.
And as for third base, Trevor Plouffe will have some in-house competition with Jamey Carroll and Eduardo Escobar expected to get looks there during Spring Training.
Mark Sobolewski, who was picked up in the Triple-A portion of the Rule 5 Draft, will also get a shot in the third-base competition. He's known for his power and glove work at third base, but struggles to get on base, as evidenced by his 20 homers and .249/.286/.432 slash line at Double-A.
What are the chances of Alex Meyer or the Minor League guys we acquired making the big leagues this season?
-- Brandon H., Woodbury, Minn.
Meyer, who was acquired in the trade that sent Denard Span to Washington, is the club's top pitching prospect, as many within the Twins organization believe he has the potential to be a No. 1 starter.
Meyer is 6-foot-9 with a fastball that touches 97 mph to go with a power slider that serves as his out pitch. But he's yet to pitch above Class A Advanced, so unless he dominates in the Minors this season, it's unlikely he'll see time with the Twins.
But the Twins haven't been afraid to promote a player straight from Double-A as a September callup -- Chris Parmelee and Joe Benson are recent examples -- so it's certainly not impossible, although they'll likely be monitoring his innings. The Twins, though, are more likely to play it safe with Meyer and start him at Double-A New Britain and keep him in the Minors this season.
Right-hander Trevor May, who along with Worley was acquired in the trade that sent Ben Revere to Philadelphia, is in a similar situation but does have experience at Double-A. May is regarded as a potential No. 2 starter and threw 149 2/3 innings while in Double-A last season.
So May could either start the season at New Britain or Triple-A Rochester, and could also be a September callup if everything breaks right, but is also likely to stick in the Minors this year.
What ever happened to starting pitcher Alex Wimmers? Is he still with the organization?
-- Frank B., St. Paul, Minn.
Wimmers, the club's first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft, underwent Tommy John surgery on Aug. 2 and is currently rehabbing his right elbow.
He was diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament strain earlier in the season before ultimately suffering a setback in late July.
It's been a rough go for Wimmers, who was considered to be one of the more polished arms in his Draft class after starring at Ohio State. He's struggled with his control, and just when it seemed like he was getting back on track last season, he had to have Tommy John surgery.
But I've heard his rehab process is going well, and the success rate for the surgery is very high. So the Twins still have hope he can be part of the big league rotation in the future, but his star isn't quite as bright as when he was first drafted.
I have a question about Joe Vavra. What does a Spring Training coordinator do?
-- Chris A., Eau Claire, Minn.
Vavra, who was shifted in his role as hitting coach to third-base coach this offseason, will also take on the job of being the club's Spring Training coordinator for the first time.
Essentially, as Spring Training coordinator, he'll work closely with manager Ron Gardenhire to plan out the club's workouts and drills during Spring Training.
That planning is most important in the days leading up to the actual games, as Twins pitchers and catchers begin working out on Feb. 13 while the position players begin workouts on Feb. 16. Minnesota plays its first game on Feb. 23.