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Article: Will Hunter Greene Haunt The Twins?

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:23 PM
MLB's 2017 draft is a little over two weeks away. Minnesota has known they have the first overall pick since last fall and the new regime...
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Article: Game Thread: Twins @ Orioles, 5/22@6:05pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:22 PM
After piling up doubleheaders the Twins travel to Baltimore and it seems like the weather might follow them. There is a 90% chance of rai...
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Hughes to the DL

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:11 PM
Shoulder issues Uh oh
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Time for Duffey at SP?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:10 PM
Tyler Duffey is one of my favorite Twins, I won't hide from that fact. His mind-bending array of curve balls has my tender heart all aflu...
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Article: Young Guns

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:52 PM
Over the six-year period from 2011 through 2016, during which the Twins won at a miserable .419 clip and finished last in the division fo...
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Recent Blogs


Just Better Than Awful

Even prior to tonight’s shellacking, the Twins collective ERA sits at 5.59, last in the major leagues. On the Gleeman and the Geek show last week, I asked “Can a team that ranks towards the bottom of the league in pitching even pretend to be competitive?” It turns out they can.

Since 2000, there have been five teams that made the playoffs even though they ranked in the bottom third of the league in ERA. One of them was the Twins. In 2009, after a tense game 163 versus the Tigers, the Twins snuck into the playoffs with the 23rd best ERA in the major leagues. That same year, the Angels won their division (and their first round playoff series) with the 21st best ERA.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

The same thing happened in 2005 when both the Red Sox and Yankees make the postseason while ranking 24th and 22nd overall. Finally, the Phillies first trip to the playoffs in a decade (and the unofficial start of their current dominance) started in 2007, when they sported the 23rd best ERA. That’s a long ways from Halladay, Lee and Hamels.
None of those teams made it to the World Series. But two World Series winner since 2000 had an ERA that ranked as low as 16th – the 2000 New York Yankees and the 2006 St. Louis Cardinals. In fact, the worse staff ERA has beaten the better staff ERA for the championship 8 of the last 12 years.

Last year was especially lackluster. Only one team – the top-ranked Phillies, had an ERA better than eighth overall. The other seven teams all fell between #8 (Tampa Bay) and #18 (Detroit).

More good news for the Twins is that there isn’t a lot of pitching firepower in their division. The White Sox are off to a fast start because their staff ranks 9th overall. But after that, there isn’t an AL Central team that ranks higher than 21st, who is Cleveland. Detroit (23rd) and Kansas City (27th) are floundering, too.

The Twins don’t necessarily need a miracle on their pitching staff to compete this year. They just need to not completely suck. That’s a pretty low bar to set, but it might be high enough to make this season entertaining. It also may be unreachable.


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