Sunday, May 21, 2017
Defying Convention in Minneapolis
I don't get it. In 2015, the Twins had a contending, sneaky little team. In 2016, they were absolutely terrible. Now they're suddenly fantastic again, looking even better than their 2015 selves. I can't in any way explain this double-spectrum inconsistency, because it's just plain odd.
Not much has changed, too- with the exception of Trevor Plouffe and Kurt Suzuki, pretty much everyone that made the 2016 team so...ineffective is still on the team. They're just all playing so much better all of the sudden. Miguel Sano, who was striking out all over the place last year, has found the strike zone and has locked onto it. Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler are doing better than they did in their breakout seasons last year.
Plus, Ervin Santana took a decent enough post-HGHs season in 2016 and turned it into a massive start to the season this year, with some terrifically pitched games. This rotation has needed leadership ever since Johan Santana left, and Santana's expertise is helping the rest of the staff come into line. Jose Berrios has pitched two fantastic games so far this year, coming back from his subpar rookie year. Hector Santiago's also had some nice games so far. It's not a perfect rotation, but the front half is pretty strong.
The fact that the Twins are accomplishing this in a division that held last season's league champions is even better- they're neck and neck with the Indians, and possibly have more of a case than they do for first right now. The wheels are turning in Minneapolis, and I don't know when they'll stop.
Coming Tomorrow- A sentimental favorite of mine, now playing for my absolute least favorite team.