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11-11 What the next 21 games will tell us!!

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2 more @ Tigers
3 @ Indians
4 @ Red Sox
3 vs Orioles
3 Vs White Sox
3 @ Braves
3 vs Red Sox
Combined Record 65-64 .504

Looking at what has happened so far this year being 11-11, I find the next 21 games very important on a lot of ways in my opinion. We have a .500 record now, we play decent teams with a combined record of what we do. I think a lot can happen good or bad.

I really want the Twins to play meaningful games in the months of August. I am encouraged in a few ways watching the first 22 games and being .500. I have a tough time thinking we can compete against anybody from the AL East for a Wild Card, and I have a tough time thinking we can beat the Tigers record. One thing is you never know though. Here are a couple of things that are going to make or break the chances of playing meaningful games this year, or build our value for the next few years.

1. Justin Morneau, yes he is my favorite Twin, my hope for him sometimes subsides reality I guess. I was really hoping he would have a good year this year for 2 reasons, we either get great value for him for the deadline, or he helps carry the team to contention this year. He has missed some HR pitches in the first games of the season, a lot of them. He finally hit a hanging breaking ball for a HR on Sunday. I hope he finds it and has a good May, as 17th in the AL for 1B in slugging percentage isn't what you want from that spot.

2. Chris Parmelee-- Goes hand in hand w/ #1. 16th in the AL in batting AVG, 20th in SLG for RF in the AL. He isn't producing yet, I don't know how long you give him. I was excited to see him start the year with the Twins, he has been impressive in the field, at the plate he is less than desired. He was supposed to be the guy that replaces Morneau. What happens if he can't live up to either spot, we put a lot of time into this guy not to pan out. Times a ticking I think, the next 3 weeks could be interesting for Parmelee.

3. Trevor Plouffe 12th among 3B in SLG, 16th in RBI in the AL. This certainly isn't going to cut it. Is Escobar really going to be the 3B over Plouffe. How do you not play Escobar right now. Escobar is batting .438 in 32 AB, including more RBI than Plouffe. I was looking forward to Plouffe being an everyday 3B for the Twins, I thought if he was healthy he could produce, this hasn't happened, defense has been suspect, plate appearances have not been very good.

4. Lineup:

Brian Dozier 7/10 among 2B in Batting Avg. .243
Joe Mauer 3/10 among Catchers in Avg batting .289
Josh Willingham 4/16 among LF in RBI 2/16 SLG
Justin Morneau 13/17 among 1B in SLG 9/17 in RBI
Trevor Plouffe 8/13 among 3B in SLG 16/16 in RBI
Chris Parmelee 12/13 among RF in SLG 12/13 in RBI
Ryan Doumit batting .197 in 66 AB
Aaron Hicks 14/14 among CF in Batting Avg. .113
Pedro Florimon batting .250 in 40 AB

This lineup is really losing its luster, especially with Mauer struggling. Our best batter isn't even in the starting lineup. The only player living up to his reputation may be Willingham. Gardy is having a tough time finding the right mix to get this thing going. This trend has started to get ugly, and I am not seeing anything getting better soon, except for the hope of Morneau, and Hicks is looking a lot better. Arcia and Escobar are going to probably get some good playing time.

5. Starting rotation-- Question mark coming in, Question mark going forward. Pelfrey yet to have a quality start. Worley hasn't looked good at all. Hendriks already sent down. Hernandez has looked good, small sample size. Diamond, right where he left off. Gibson 3.5ish in AAA. Correia is the only bright spot in the rotation, as this has been well documented. This rotation has 7 people 5 spots, this will be interesting with Hernandez pitching well, Gibson coming up.

1. Correia
2. Diamond
3. Worley
4. Pelfrey
5. Hernandez
6. Gibson
7. Hendriks.

Who are the ones left out if Hernandez keeps pitching well, Gibson coming up.

I am looking at the next 21 games and I am not looking optimistic. I have a bad feeling we are going to be 18-25 after 43 games. I think the only way I will be wrong is if Morneau gets confidence back after Sundays HR, the middle of the lineup is just average, the back of the rotation starts getting quality starts. I think the next 2 games at Detroit set the tone for the next 19, and when the Twins play in Detroit as of late, I am not feeling confident.
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