Report: Twins face toughest beginning schedule in the A.L.

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The Twins have a challenging road to open the 2014 season, once they head north.

Of the first 40 games for the Twins this season, 31 of them are against teams with a .500 record or better last season and 22 of their first 40 games are on the road.

ESPN's Buster Olney put together the breakdown on the schedule.

My son plays a video game called "Injustice," and I think that lineup of villains is easier than what the Twins will face early in the year. They start out the season with six road games, and then beginning April 18, the Twins will play 25 straight games -- count 'em, 25 -- against teams that either made the playoffs or contended, including the Red Sox, Tigers, Rays and Dodgers. The Twins' new pitching will be tested early.

Making matters a little tougher for the Twins, the Tigers, Royals and Indians have the three easiest first-quarter schedules in the AL, according to Olney.

The Star Tribune says if the Twins can make it through the first 40-games without the wheels falling off, it could bode well for a rebound or "bridge" season to better times.

After three straight 90-loss seasons though, a slow start for the Twins could erode support for the team in a hurry. One thing that could help the Twins is promoting prospect Miguel Sano.

Sano told 1500 ESPN he believes he is ready to play in the big leagues. But like many others around the organization, Sano is unsure when he will get the call to join the big club.

"I believe September, May, June," Sano told the radio station. "I'm ready, you know? I'm going to work hard, the Twins take the decision when I play in the Major Leagues."

Other notes the Twins announced Tuesday:

  • Mike Pelfrey will start the Grapefruit League opener against Boston on Friday, according to the Pioneer Press.
  • The Twins signed Australian power hitting first baseman Jack Barrie, according to a report on the Pioneer Press' Twinsights.

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