Thursday, August 11, 2022

Gio Grande


I'd feared this wasn't the case, but at the end of the day, the majority of the AL Central teams are pretty similar. The Twins, for instance, are beginning to remind me of the Tigers.

I've lamented repeatedly that the Tigers have gone through so many different youth movements that they've all sort of collapsed into a mess of unrealized potential, and that a lot of the last wave of this movement failed, hence the new iteration with Torkelson and Greene [which also hasn't worked]. The Twins, even if they are higher in the standings, have a similar problem. This season, they went into the year banking on young players like Ryan Jeffers, Trevor Larnach and Alex Kirilloff. All three of them are currently injured. As is Royce Lewis, who had 12 glorious games in the majors before being out for the season. 

And so the Twins have moved onto the next layer of the youth movement. Most notably, Jose Miranda has been making a lot of starts at 3rd base, and is looking to move in there fully eventually. This complicates things for Gio Urshela, who is also having a good season, but the idea is that Carlos Correa might be leaving and therefore Urshela would slide over to short. You also have Gilberto Celestino having a decent breakout season in the outfield, but now HE'S competing for an outfield spot with Nick Gordon, held over from the last wave of the youth movement. And you also had Mark Contreras try the outfield for a bit this year before heading back to the minors. On top of that, the Twins still have Jake Cave from 3 waves ago trying to stay on the roster, and for catching help they went and got perennial backup Sandy Leon. 

The two main catching options on this competitive Twins team are Sandy Leon and Gary Sanchez. Yes, folks, no matter how well they've done this year, at the end of the day this is still a Minnesota Twins team.

The Twins, in the last few days, have fallen in the standings and are now in 2nd behind the Guardians. Even if this year has been a surprise triumph for the Twins, this is not how they want to go out. With Sonny Gray surging after a reunion with his Reds rotation partner Tyler Mahle, Jorge Lopez and Michael Fulmer providing upgrades in the 'pen, and Buxton proving how lethal he can be in a full season, the Twins have plenty going for them even now, and though they've had a rough stretch lately, I don't think it'd be a safe idea to completely count them out of it. 

Besides, imagine what happens when all those depth pieces get healthy again.

Coming Tomorrow- [long, exasperated sigh].

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