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Detroit Lakes Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Even after a pair of 90-plus loss seasons, optimism reigns supreme every time the annual Minnesota Twins Caravan rolls into Detroit Lakes.

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Every year the Twins Caravan has made a stop in frigid Detroit Lakes during January, and every year the event is sold out and packed from wall to wall.

This year, the stop was made inside the American Legion Monday evening, as pitchers Scott Diamond and Glen Perkins, along with former Twin great Tony Oliva and broadcaster Cory Provus met the hundreds of Twins' fans from the DL area.

With big changes having being made by Twins general manager Terry Ryan, the hope of climbing up the American League Central Division is high.

With the refurbishing of the starting pitching rotation, along with energy of young players who will be looked to contribute, optimism is valid.

The effects of the trade of centerfielder Denard Span to Washington probably won't be felt for a couple more years, after Ryan pried the Nationals' top pitching prospect Alex Meyer, who won't see the major league lineup for at least a season or two.

Along with the trade of Ben Revere to the Phillies for right-hander Vance Worley and pitching prospect Trevor May, there will certainly be a new centerfielder on the Target Field grounds come April.

That's where the young energy will be tapped, as Darin Mastroianni and prospects Aaron Hicks and Joe Benson will be fighting for the spot.

But one thing that came out of the offseason moves by the Twins was pitching, pitching and more pitching.

Diamond proved to be a reliable starter with a 3.54 ERA, along with a 12-9 record, the only Twin to reach double digits in the win category.

Perkins will anchor a shaky bullpen, while Worley and possibly Mike Pelfrey will be relied on as veteran presences in the starting rotation.

But this team will be looking to the future by developing pitchers, infielders and hitters, as most of the moves this past few months points to.

The season, though, will be one to look to as an improvement, as the team seeks to avoid another 90-loss season and climb out of the Central cellar.

As the turnout Monday proved, the Twins' fans are stoutly behind their Target Field heroes.

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