Originally written on The Outside Corner  |  Last updated 11/14/14
Ask the casual fan about the Minnesota Twins, and you'll probably be amused by the responses. Everyone can probably name Joe Mauer, most can name Justin Morneau, and then...uh, well, I bet that some can come up with the name Josh Willingham. And then, nothing. How many casual fans can name even one member of the Twins pitching staff? What I'm trying to imply is that while the Twins are a three-man team to the non-hardcore fan, they've got other players who will play huge roles for them in 2013. My x-factor for the Minnesota Twins in 2013 is Ryan Doumit. Doumit is an interesting character. He signed a one-year deal with the Twins prior to last season, and played well enough to earn himself two more years. In many ways, 2012 was the best season of his career (even if his fWAR, wOBA, or wRC+ didn't indicate that). Doumit mainly served as the Twins catcher and DH, splitting the positions with Joe Mauer, but also logged time in the outfield and at first base. He topped 500 plate appearances for the first time last season, and his 18 homers were a career best. Doumit's importance to the Twins is based on the fact that Minnesota has a pair of franchise cornerstones at two of the positions he's gotten playing time at: Mauer behind the plate, and Justin Morneau at first. If one of those two goes down or has a nagging injury, it's a piece of cake for Ron Gardenhire to simply shift Doumit to their position and either rest the player or stick them at DH for a partial day off. Considering how banged up both of those two players have been in recent years, the presence of Doumit as opposed to an all-glove backup is that much more important. Yeah, Ryan Doumit isn't the best DH in the world. His offensive numbers were worse than Kendrys Morales' with the Angels, but roughly comparable to Seth Smith's with the A's. He doesn't walk much, isn't a great defender when he's forced to wear a glove, and is a terrible baserunner. But his versatility (as adequate as he may be at those positions) is of the utmost importance to a Twins club that cannot afford a serious injury to one of their big pieces going forward. Twins on TOC End of Season Postmortem Hope for the Hopeless 2013 Season Preview You May Say I'm a Dreamer 2013 Burning Question This Is My Nightmare 2013 X-Factor [follow]

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

Athletics deal Josh Donaldson to Blue Jays for Brett Lawrie

Ohio governor decrees playoff committee honorary Ohioans

Lance Stephenson becoming a problem with the Hornets?

Tony Romo: I promise I'll be better next week

Seahawks could wait to address Russell Wilson's contract


Report: SMU football to hire Clemson offensive coordinator

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Hockey goalie rushes into stands to perform CPR on fan

49ers CEO Jed York apologizes for unacceptable performance

Family searching for missing Ohio State football player

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE, says he'll never return

What if the Chargers refused to trade Eli Manning?

Why is there a red seat hanging in the Mall of America?

WATCH: Mickey Rourke TKO’d a man half his age in Moscow

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Five bold predictions for Week 13 in the NFL

Brady Quinn pens 'note' to Jets quarterback Geno Smith

Bills center Eric Wood gained 7.4 pounds at Thanksgiving

Cubs reliever somehow OK after being involved in awful accident

Seahawks players throw shade at 49ers after victory

Five takeaways from NFL's Thanksgiving Day action

Things to be thankful for in the NBA this season

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

What if the Chargers didn't trade Eli?

Dez Bryant: Eagles were ‘kinda cheap’

Ray Rice wins appeal, can sign with any team

What's next for the 49ers?

The most tone-deaf tweet ever?

Is Lance a problem for the Hornets?

5 NFL takeaways from Thanksgiving

WATCH: Ronda Rousey talks Eminem

CM Punk opens up about leaving WWE

Wrigley renovation may be delayed

Steelers could have been America's Team

John Beilein upset with ESPN

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.