Twins 2013: A Start that Impresses
by, 04-22-2013 at 11:31 AM (361 Views)
I am not sure many really expected all of this.
The Twins are now 8-7 and have won four games in a row. This is while starting without their best 2012 starting pitcher for nine games, with Vance Worley being bad until his fourth start, with a horribly struggling rookie in Aaron Hicks, with Justin Morneau at even sub-2012 levels of production, with Ryan Doumit struggling, with . . . . well you get the idea.
The fact that the Twins are over .500 is surprising when you consider that only Joe Mauer, Eduardo Escobar, Pedro Florimon, and Kevin Correia are actually performing beyond expectations right now.
So there's that--the Twins have gotten off to an above average start literally and that means a good start when looking at a potential .410 win percentage for the year.
To make things better, there is enormous good news in the minors. While Kyle Gibson has been fairly bad and has pitched too many innings per start if he is on an overall innings limit, Alex Meyer and Trevor May have looked good. When Gibson gets it going and when Meyer and May progress further, the Twins suddenly have legitimate options at starting pitcher. Drafting a lefty starting star (Manaea) would add immensely to the 2015 season.
Meyer has struck out 19 in 16 innings and he is giving up more hits then he is accustomed to, but he is moving right along towards a September call-up.
May is going to struggle at times, but he is also going to make B.J. Hermsen out to be a non-prospect (no offense, but Hermsen does not throw a pitch--currently--for a strikeout).
Offensively, it seems that Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, and Eddie Rosario are too big for where they are at. There is zero reason for the Twins not to promote Buxton to Fort Myers immediately (and Angel Morales can get a true make it or break it season at AA). Sano and Rosario should remain until about June to be promoted to AA and then we can see the experiment really begin (Sano at third, Rosario at second).
Buxton has produced a .415/.523/.642 line in 15 games. Buxton has two of every extra base hit while Sano has a slash of .375/.438/.734 and Rosario brings in a .352/.385/.507 slash. Rosario has no errors so far, and that is a good sign for the biggest positional question in the system. Sano can move to first, Buxton can be the CF, moving Hicks to RF, and Rosario as a second baseman makes the team strong at a position that has been a debacle since Chuck Knoblauch.
D.J. Baxendale is the great honorable mention right now. As will be Michael Tonkin, A.J. Achter, and Jose Berrios. Baxendale, in particular, is notable for his success as a starter this year.
This is all a sign of a very good future. The 2013 team is competing for a win of the division AND the prospects are looking quite good.
This year is already different than 2012. And that is worth a lot.