Jump to content

Providing independent coverage of the Minnesota Twins.
Subscribe to Twins Daily Email

The Forums

Hypothetical rule change: remove DH when pitcher is removed

Other Baseball Today, 02:51 PM
I just read this potential rule change on Twitter and I am intrigued:   https://twitter.com/...4091739136?s=20     For th...

Fangraphs Top 50 Free Agents

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 11:23 AM
Here is the link to their Top 50 Free Agent List with player write ups, community estimated contracts and Fangraphs estimated contracts....

White Sox make changes

Other Baseball Today, 02:51 PM
Both Manager Rick Rentaria and pitching coach Don Cooper were let go.     Was a bit surprised by this, because the White S...

What can Morton be had for?

Minnesota Twins Talk Yesterday, 08:55 PM
https://www.thescore...lb/news/2045846

What to do with Lewis Thorpe?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 02:51 PM
Lewis Thorpe is out of options. The Twins either need to keep him on the MLB team as their 5th starter or as a reliever out of the bullpe...

Photo

What Went wrong?

Posted by mike8791 , 18 September 2020 · 812 views

No, the season isn't over, but in terms of winning the division, it almost certainly is after a disheartening series loss in Chicago. The Twins were overwhelming favorites to win the Division, at least. The FO came thru this offseason by signing Donaldson and greatly strengthening the rotation by trading for Maeda and signing Hill and Bailey. Results in an improved rotation are self-evident to the point where this can now be considered the strength of the team.

But what happened? Sure the Sox improved more than expected, but let's face it, the Twins blew it. How? By going 9-9 against the Tigers and Royals. Compare this to the Sox record of 18-2. Therein lies the tale. No way could the Twins make up for this disparity.

So why did this happen? Just one opinion: the Twins did not take these teams seriously enough. Maybe they relaxed too much. Is this the fault of the players, the manager, or is it one of those inexplicable happenings that seem to occur periodically in baseball? Whatever the reason(s), playing .500 ball against two of the worst teams in the league is inexcusable for a team with legitimate World Series expectations.

A few more thoughts on what went wrong. No, we can't blame injuries as every team(look at the Yankees) have had a slew of key players on the IL. No surprise with the pandemic-shortened season. Also not a big surprise that the offense declined from record-setting 2019. Guys like Garver, Arraez, Kepler - to name three - played well below expectations, leaving big holes in the lineup. You can't win consistently by relying on the long ball. This is a lineup that has trouble manufacturing runs. Big question: why doesn't Buxton have the green light to steal every time he's on IB? Despite improved infield defense, this team has made too many mental errors. For this the coaches, and especially the manager, must be held accountable.

And speaking of the manager, his handling of the pitching staff deserves harsh scrutiny. Why hasn't he left starters in longer? Why do Twins' starters always go on 5 days rest? Baldy is babying his players and the results have shown in the increasing erratic performance of the overly-taxed bullpen. This is a short season and yet the relievers, especially their erstwhile closer, have blown an alarming number of games. Throwing Rogers out in one save situation after another, with predictably poor results, is a clear example of the manager's inflexibility in handling of his bullpen.

So let's call this season a disappointment to date. No excuse for this team playing .500 ball after getting off to a 10-2 start! But this sour taste can easily be dispelled by going deep into the playoffs. A World Championship would silence the most severe critics, even me. I'm just not betting on this result, given what I've seen so far.