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Coming In Hot

Posted by PintoWF , 11 July 2016 · 1,202 views

minnesota twins max kepler kurt suzuki kennys vargas eduardo nunez
Coming In Hot My cell phone is what keeps me updated. Life, politics, sports. Whatever. That includes the Minnesota Twins.

Whenever they score, or are scored upon, I get an update. Lately I have been seeing more of the former.

The Twins have averaged 7.8 runs per game in July while going 7-3 to begin the month. They have scored in double figures four times in those ten games. Compare that with just one instance of double figure scoring in the first 78 games.

Kurt Suzuki, the Twins catcher I still believe is just a stopgap for the organization, has been white-hot the last 28 games. His line of .379/.402/.592/.994 over that time is one of the best for a catcher over the last month plus.

Max Kepler has been just as hot driving in 33 runs over the last 37 games. Of those 33 RBIs, 18 have come in the last 10 games. He has also hit five home runs with a ridiculous slugging percentage of .622 in those 10 games as well.

That's fifth best of any rookie in the majors with at least 25 plate appearances.

Minnesota has done most of their damage against the Texas Rangers. Seven of the 10 games this month have come against the American League's best team. The Twins have averaged eight runs per game while hitting 14 home runs, 15 doubles and a .328 team batting average.

The run scoring against Texas is something of a tradition. The Twins have averaged 4.76 runs again against Texas since 2010, the best mark for Minnesota against any American League opponent.

What are we to feel about all of this? Is this a product of the opponent? A hot team? A handful of players getting hot at the same time?

First, feel happy. Some positivity from a season void of it. Second, feel optimism. Kepler. Kennys Vargas. Robbie Grossman. Even Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario. They've all had a hand in this offense going crazy over the last 10 games.

Not only that, they've played well in the field. At positions they were meant to play.

Sano, a third baseman, is actually playing third base. Not the outfield. Meaning Kepler is getting time in right field at the major league level and not at AAA where he has already proven himself.

(Side-note: The injury to Trevor Plouffe might be a blessing in disguise. This is what the team, defensively, should look like. Sano playing his natural position and a rotation of Byron Buxton, Grossman, Rosario and Kepler in the outfield. It seems to be working.)

Third, don't get your hopes up that this is the start of something great for this year.

The Texas pitching staff isn't all that great. The starters are good but the bullpen is dreadful. The Twins crushed an already bad bullpen into submission by taxing them to the limit. Frankly, the All-Star break could not have come soon enough for Texas.

The Twins, by comparison, could have done without the stoppage in play.

They could also use some more games against the AL West. Of their 32 wins, 15 have come from teams that hail from that division. They have just seven more games, three against Seattle and four against Houston, left to play against AL West teams.

Fourth, it is only 10 games. A small snippet in time. Nothing to get overly hyped about if you're a Twins fan as this team will certainly find its level soon. Especially with how young this roster is.

All of those things aside, it still makes you smile, if only for a moment. A break from the monotonous pounding the team had been taking.

If you want to enjoy it, by all means, enjoy. Don't let my negativity drag you down.

Whoop it up, baby. The Twins are coming in hot.