The Twins dropped the series to the Diamondbacks and, as of this writing, are only one game ahead of the Guardians in the division. Next up, a whole slew of games against those Guardians. Beware.
I’m trying to maintain my optimism after the series loss in Arizona. It’s not going well. I tried to listen to the game on Sunday, but all that happened was that I got to hear the Diamondbacks hit a grand slam. A door to victory shuts. I switch my Echo Dot (a wonderful Father’s Day gift from my beloved wife and daughter) over to loud music and read about scary movies in Rue Morgue magazine. Giving up a granny is just a bridge too far for me. Grab a taxi – this one’s over.
Part of putting the pieces of a winning team together is knowing which pieces don’t belong in the puzzle. And that is the tricky task awaiting the Twins. The pitching staff could use reinforcements, which means we need to get rid of some of our existing players. Specifically, I suspect we will be losing some of our bullpen arms.
To be fair, we’ve already been shuffling around our assets between the pro team, St. Paul, and the injured list. To be fair AND honest, I have trouble keeping up with who we have in the bullpen on any given day. There are a few names that make me nervous when I hear they’re coming in to the game. I wonder if they’re nervous, too. Or, do they find a way to shut out the bad memories of being hit out of ballgames in the near past?
Getting cut from a team has to hurt, so I don’t envy the decisions the baseball people have to make. Some of these guys bounce around the league for years. Some of them only get remembered when their name comes up, and all a fan can remember is that yes, they used to play for your team. Being an innings eater, low-leverage kind of pitcher is tough, gritty life. Retire and in six months you can go shopping anywhere without getting recognized. You can put “able to manage criticism from tens of thousands of people at a time” on your resume.
But, like the book says, there’s a season for everything. Sometimes players have to go. If the Twins are still in the hunt for first place in the division after they’ve played all of those games with the Guardians, they need to be upgrading. In fact, they should probably be looking to upgrade now to ensure they’re still close to first place after these series.