Twins Today

An update after the Twins disappointingly split a four-game series with the lowly Detroit Tigers:
Both losses, by identical 5-3 scores, were the result of Trevor Hildenberger‘s giving up two runs in the inning he pitched. Instead of the lock-down reliever he was in the season’s first month – the dependable bridge to Taylor Rogers and Blake Parker – he has become the bullpen’s biggest liability, with an ERA over 6.00. It hurts me personally to see a player I’m so invested in fail so consistently, but I don’t know how manager Baldelli will be able to trust him again. Conversely, relievers Magill, Morin and Duffey were solid. Poor Tyler Duffey, who has been up and down to the minors like a yo-yo, struck out all three batters he faced in the 9th and was promptly returned to Rochester. He’s had success before but never been able to sustain it. The announcers, however, were surprised to see his fastball timed at 96, so maybe there is still a future for him. Especially if Hildenberger can’t recover.
Byron Buxton continues to surprise me by continuing to hit occasionally. He is still easy to strike out with low, outside sliders, but he is getting enough pitches over the plate and when he does he hits them hard, leading the league in doubles. If he goes 1 for 4, he will be a major upgrade over his past performance.
No one, however, hits the ball as consistently hard as C.J. Cron. He can’t hit a high fastball and will never hit for average, but is a genuine threat every at bat. Jonathan Schoop also has power for a number eight hitter, giving the Twins power up and down the lineup. He and Cron will both have plenty of 0-for-4 days in between breakout games when they power a win.
Marwin Gonzalez has emerged from the black hole I placed him in for the first month. I still consider him the Twin I least want to see at bat with the bases loaded and two outs, but he has risen above the Mendoza line and shown his value as a potential utility player.
Whether he will be relegated to that role depends upon the return of Miguel Sano to third base. So far, the results of his rehabilitation games in the minor leagues are discouraging: he has struck out three times for every hit, and nothing kills an attack like having a cleanup hitter striking out half the time. I trust that the Twins management sees this and is wise enough to leave him off the roster until he proves that his presence would be an upgrade over Gonzalez at third.
The Twins are clicking, but far from on all cylinders. Rosario and Kepler have experienced sustained slumps, while Adrianza and Cave have yet to show that they merit permanent roster spots.
This is the beauty of baseball, though. Every player can be analyzed every day; the season is long and everyone slumps. Nelson Cruz seemed to be the most consistent hitter on the Twins, until all of a sudden he became the weak link. You figure that the best team in the league will lose 62 games or more; so you can’t expect perfection every day.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *