Back at the end of April I questioned whether or not the Twins were good. This team was expected to compete for the AL Central division, and there were real World Series aspirations. Now, owners of the worst record in baseball, it’s worth contemplating if any Twins team has flopped this badly.
We’re past the point of it being early, and there’s plenty of blame to go around, but much of it lands on the players in the dugout. Sure, Minnesota could go on a run and make it a relevant summer by playing some compelling baseball and battling back towards .500. The reality though, is that process will take months and there’s been nothing to suggest that development is coming.
Rocco Baldelli has pulled strings that haven’t worked, but he’s also watched a plethora of injuries dog his roster, and an overall ineffectiveness of talent be put on full display. The front office failed to put their best foot forward across the board, but even the alternatives are somewhat of a reason. This clubhouse was built on holdover and internal talent. Simply put, they haven’t been good enough.
The 2016 Twins were nothing short of a dumpster fire. That group lost 103 games and the house was cleaned. After a 2nd place finish in the division the year prior, a level of ineptitude that low probably wasn’t expected. They weren’t expected to be juggernauts however, and much of the groundwork was laid early on when the Paul Molitor club started the season 0-9. That Twins team recorded their 13th victory while already owning 34 losses. This group sits at 13-25, but it’s not hard to imagine a further slide with a difficult week ahead.
Since beginning the year 5-2, Minnesota has gone on a stretch culminating in an 8-23 record. They have hit poorly, pitched badly, and played defense embarrassingly. There have been very few bright spots to this group as a whole, and even where there have been, they likely have a blemish or two to their credit as well.
It’s May, so looking at who becomes trade bait and which assets you might ship off still seems a bit premature. If nothing else, the level of practicality in terms of other teams desire probably won’t get sorted out until there’s at least another month worth of a sample size. That said, it’s beyond high time that the guys in this clubhouse take this personally. I have no indication that there’s a character or clubhouse problem, but the nightly meltdowns have gotten to a point where the embarrassment is bordering on apathy. No one should feel bad for a group of underachievers, and neither should those currently going through it. Adversity has offered the opportunity to respond, and there’s more than enough talent for a relative turnaround.
No one saw this coming for the Twins, and the only ones able to course correct are those that are on the field. Take it personal. Make a stand. Do something to stop this incredibly poor level of play we’ve now seen for over a month.