Saturday, April 20, 2024



A Twins season where Carlos Correa and Max Kepler are hurt, and all of Byron Buxton, Carlos Santana, Edouard Julien, Christian Vazquez, Kyle Farmer and Manny Margot aren't hitting, and the majority of the rotation options aren't hitting? Not quote what was forecast.

The Twins have this sort of 'on again/off again' tone to them, a lot like the Panthers used to when Cam Newton was there. One year they'd be unbeatable and contend with the greats, the next year they'd fail to get off the ground and struggle to remain in the conversation. The Twins' inconsistency goes back to the mid-2010s, where they'd go from last to competitive 2nd back to last back to a wild card team. Last year was the highest peak in some time, not only winning the division but winning their first playoff series in decades. And considering the Twins' track record, the only way to go was down from there, apparently.

It's puzzling why so many of the team's most reliable pieces just haven't shown up this year. Buxton appears to be all healthy again, but he's hitting .197 with homers yet. Farmer only has 3 hits in 34 at bats. The only people hitting decently in this lineup are people like Alex Kirilloff, Ryan Jeffers and Austin Martin, none of which had been especially trusted to lead the team this year. Jeffers, at the very least, is proving he can be a consistent hard-hitting catcher, and has 11 RBIs and 3 homers so far. Him being the only person on this team with more than 10 RBIs is definitely an issue, but it's important that he can provide for this team when nobody else can.

I think this team can still rely on its big three starters, Pablo Lopez, Joe Ryan and Bailey Ober, but even then they're just not as sharp as they've been in the past. Ober has been improving vastly over his last few starts, and had a great one today, but he's still got a bunch more to go before his ERA looks impressive. Joe Ryan is the best statistical arm they've got, but he's got a 3.57 ERA and an 0-1 record. There's some clear omissions in this pitching picture, like Jhoan Duran, Josh Winder and Justin Topa, that explain why things have gotten so diluted. Simeon Woods-Richardson did really well in his start recently, perhaps he should have a rotation spot instead of Chris Paddack, who's looking extremely burned out [despite his massive 2019]. 

The main issue is that previous years could have still allowed for the Twins to make this many mistakes. But this year the Guardians, Royals and Tigers are all good, and it makes the Twins' flaws stand out more. And it's even more worrying when the big players aren't showing up. I assume there will be a revival, and judging by today's work against Detroit it's definitely possible for this team to win big games this year, but it's gonna take a lot of under-the-radar guys to make it happen.

Coming Tomorrow- He-Seop Choi. Kosuke Fukudome. Kyuji Fujikawa. Tsuyoshi Wada. They all wish they could do for Chicago what this guy's been doing. 

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