Twins Walk Their Way To 3-0
Image courtesy of Brad Rempel, USA TodayTwins hitters tallied 23 walks in the opening series against the Royals, while the pitching staff issued just nine free passes. To put that into perspective, last season the Twins didn't draw their 23rd walk until the eighth game of the season.
Not surprisingly, all those walks did in the Royals, as they were outscored 21-5. The Twins had some great timely hitting, the bullpen has been excellent and even the defense has been solid, but anytime you get that many walks, good things are going to happen.
So, what does this mean? Well, in such a small sample we can't be sure. Maybe it means the Royals pitching staff is going to stink. Or maybe they just got off on a bad foot.
But, maybe it means we'll see a more patient approach from the Twins this season.
With new leadership comes new philosophies and new and different things that are stressed. Maybe patience is especially being preached this season. Or maybe Twins hitters are just more comfortable taking what comes during an at-bat, as opposed to trying to make something happen.
One of the things I've really admired about new hitting coach James Rowson's style is he seems to put a big focus on getting hitters confident and comfortable. MikeBerardino of the Pioneer Press did a great feature on how Rowson was trying to help Miguel Sano take the next step in which Rowson said “You look at [Sano] and you realize he doesn’t need anyone’s help to be good. He’s a good player right now.”
What an outstanding message to send to a young player like Sano. Late last season, the team was threatening to send its young slugger down to the minors. Quite a difference a few months makes.
Free agent addition Jason Castro leads the team with six walks, but Sano has three, which is tied for second with Robbie Grossman. Maybe the thing that sticks out the most is the pair of walks Eddie Rosario drew in Thursday's 5-3 win. The free-swinging Rosario entered the season averaging one walk for every 30 plate appearances.
Is it possible we're seeing these younger Twins hitters coming into their own? Could this be the year they get comfortable instead of constantly worrying about being sent to the bench, or back to Rochester, after a few bad games?
Well, right now it looks just about as possible as the Royals just having a rotten pitching staff. Only time will tell.
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