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5 Overreactions from Opening Weekend

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We are at the equivalent of 8.1 games into the season with 153.9 more to go. With 5% of the season completed, now is the time to overanalyze the results from the first weekend of the season and apply these findings to how the next two months will pan out. Here are five overreactions from the first five percent.1. Kenta Maeda is the Twins’ Best Offseason Addition


Although most of Monday’s headlines surrounded Nelson Cruz, Kenta Maeda quietly dominated the White Sox in his first outing as a Twin yesterday, striking out six in five innings. The pitching on both Friday and Saturday toed the line of disaster, so Maeda was the steady relief and security that Twins fans needed. His lone mistake of the day was a two-run home run to Luis Robert. Other than in the fifth, Maeda never gave up more than one hit in an inning.


Josh Donaldson and Alex Avila also made their Twins debut over the weekend. Donaldson mostly made his offensive impact through walks, and Avila recorded his first hit of the season. While Donaldson and Avila both did their jobs well, it was Maeda who re-instilled faith in Twins’ pitching in fans. In a season where hitters seem to be constantly ahead, the need for great starting pitching feels more important than ever. Therefore, Maeda’s magnificent debut makes him the Twins’ best and most important offseason addition.



2. The 2020 Twins are this Season’s Equivalent of the 2019 Yankees


Former Yankee Jake Cave was responsible for the Twins’ first grand slam of the season. Coincidentally, he was filling in for the injured Byron Buxton, who hit the first grand slam of last season. The other main backup players, Marwin Gonzalez, Ehire Adrianza, and Alex Avila all saw playing time over the weekend. All three players recorded at least one hit, with an insurance home run from Gonzalez yesterday. With Rocco Baldelli conservatively utilizing his starting pitchers, the Twins also saw an endless parade of bullpen pieces coming into play. Although Littell and Smeltzer struggled on Saturday, no other reliever allowed a single run for the remainder of the weekend. Between the remainder of the relievers, they only allowed five hits in 10 innings with 13 strikeouts. The Twins always had another option on hand in any situation.


All of these context clues point to one thing: depth. Last season, the Yankees had 30 players land on the injured list, with only three players who remained on the roster all season. However, the Yankees still coasted to a division title with help from their never ending reserves, like when Mike Ford took over for Luke Voit who took over for Edwin Encarnacion and Greg Bird (you get the hint). This year’s Twins are reminiscent of the Yankees, where the bench players take any and every advantage of playing time to make their presence known. While we hope that the Twins don’t suffer the same injury fate of the Yankees, we can all rest assured knowing that there are others on the roster who are ready to hold down the fort, and hold down the fort well, at a moment’s notice.


3. Nelson Cruz Will Win His First Career MVP


Just three games into the season, Nelson Cruz has separated himself from the pack as the most dominant player in the American League. Cruz already has 10 RBI’s this season, which is more runs batted in than the Texas Rangers, New York Mets, Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies, New York Yankees, Milwaukee Brewers, AND Arizona Diamondbacks.


Cruz has never finished in the top five in MVP votes, and the only designated hitter to ever win an MVP was Don Baylor in 1979, who was only a part time DH. However, if Cruz can continue this monstrous pace for a month, also known as half of the season, anything is possible.


4. The Twins Should Trade Miguel Sano


Hit-less Miguel Sano struck out four times this weekend in eight at bats. He currently accounts for 1/5 of the team’s strikeouts, despite only playing in two games. We’ve seen glimmers of greatness from Sano over the years, from his All-Star debut in 2017 and his impressive 57.2% of hard-hit balls in 2019. These big moments and his power and potential are what keeps Twins fans invested in Sano over the years.


However, the Twins have viable options at first base and an everlasting need for additional pitching help, especially given ace Berrios’ poor outing on Opening Day. Sano could be a great NL target for a team looking for a DH with a big bat potential. The runner up in the 2017 Home Run Derby is good, but should the Twins acquire precious pitching pieces instead of waiting for him to be great?


5. We May Never See Taylor Rogers Ever Again


The Twins were not in a save situation all weekend. At this rate, the Twins may never be in a save situation ever again with how dominant the offense has been and the occasional pitching glitch. Rocco Baldelli has been extremely diligent about keeping pitchers fresh during this unexpected season, so Rogers may be continuously saved for a rainy day until the season is over and we remember that Rogers is still sitting alone in the bullpen, waiting to capture a save.


What are some of your biggest overreactions from Opening Weekend? Comment below!


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number 1 might not be an over-reaction...


I'm going to echo this.


When all is said and done, from defense to offense to mentorship of the young talent on the roster and those waiting for opportunity, Donaldson will still be the best signing.


But Maeda is good. His career numbers say he is good. He eats RH hitters for breakfast and lunch and is coming off his best career year against LH hitters. The whole Dogers moving him to the pen has been overblown, IMO, from everything I've read and heard. The Dogers had enough rotation depth...one of the best in MLB ...to use him in their pen. (Nice problem to have). And I think some of the hyperbole that came with Maeda that the Twins acquired some front of the rotation stud was ridiculous. But what they got was a very good, experienced and professional hitter who can fit in well as a quality #2 or #3 guy. He may not dominate, but he just does everything well.


I also enjoyed hearing Morneau speak about how well he's been fitting in with the team. Despite the language barrier, he has a good sense of humor and seems to be comfortable. One thing I feel is underrated is just how well the clubhouse works from the manager and coaches on down. The Twins seem to have built a team that is filled with ability, confidence, and good chemistry. And I believe that's been done very deliberately.


So no over reaction.


I disagree with over reaction #2, not only because I really never want to be compared to the Yankees, lol, but I think the Twins 2019 depth was pretty damn good as well. It's unfortunate, however, that the Twins were less healthy at the end of the season than the Yankees were at the time. But I will say the depth for 2020 is even better after Donaldson, Hill, Clippard and Maeda were brought on board. Not to mention Dobnak, Smeltzer, Thorpe, Littell and Stashak gaining experience.


You're obviously being silly about Sano and Rogers. But I was a little surprised Rogers and Romo never pitched. And with the day off today, Monday, I think I would have played Sano all 3 days to help him heat up.


As to Cruz, well, I doubt a DH wins MVP nationally. But internally he easily could. Even at 40, could he be one of the best and most dangerous hitters in the game?


Little surprised you didn't include Stashak and/or Wisler. Because...DAMN!

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Provisional Member

Fun article.


1. So far, I agree (I'm waiting for Josh Donaldson to show his power).


2. I thought we had that depth last year as well. Cave started getting going near the end.


3. I could actually see this.  He is so consistent and looks like he hasn't missed a beat since last year.


4. This one is harder for me to swallow, although I was looking at the White Sox roster and wondering who I would want on our team and I thought of Jose Abreu.  I would take him straight up for Sano, but I doubt Chicago would do that!


5.  I was also wondering where Rogers was all weekend!


I'm glad you titled this "5 Overreactions" and not "5 Early Musings" like you see far too often in sports media.

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While I get the point of the article, and it’s fun to think about how silly conclusions can be made too early,  #s 1-3 are solid observations because they might be right in the end.....4 and 5 better fit with the concept.

Here are three more to fit with the other two:

6.  Every game that the Twins play in will have one team score 10+ runs

7.  The Twins don’t need Buxton, Odorizzi or Hill to win In 2020

8.  Nelson Cruz will finish the season with more RBI than at least one team

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I hate the bogus crowd noise piped in.....


To add some fun....saw the idea of removing the screens protecting the cardboard people.....make foul balls a lot more fun........


Cruz on pace for 200 RBI....if he can play 60 against the Sox.....


Sox are not contenders yet....that Defense is horrible!!  


Still questioning the lineup......  BUT HAPPY ball is back!!  

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<< To add some fun....saw the idea of removing the screens protecting the cardboard people.....make foul balls a lot more fun........ >>


Oh heck yes!!!! This is brilliant. Imagine a foul tip that would usually hit the screen nail one of the cardboard hecklers separating his head from the rest of his fake carcass. Would make this season infinitely more interesting. Priceless.

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6- Arraez will hit .400

7- Donaldson will be a bust

8- Berrios will win his next 6 starts with an ERA of under 2 

9- The Twins will trade for a starter on August 30th.


You asked for over-reactions. Trade Sano? The Twins remember Ortiz too much to pull that trigger. He'll be fine and bat .277 with 11 home runs though he may strike out 80 times. That's what you get with sluggers. Deal with it.


Gotta love Cruz but we don't play the White Sox every day (too bad). 

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Like many, I'm worried we won't have a full season even of 60 games. The Marlin news is ominous, though I don't know how disciplined they've been with the protocols. I expect some bumps, but it's great to have baseball back, however long it lasts. I don't see Sano going anywhere this season. Rogers will get his chances. Cruz could be MVP despite his DH status, given how strange the season is anyway, if he keeps walloping the ball. I wouldn't be surprised to see Cave out there with Kepler and Buxton and Rosario playing less if Eddie can't get it together. And yes, Maeda was good to see in form, though last season Berrios sometimes had a problem keeping an early lead, too. Just glad to see the team on the field, though the cardboard cutouts are absurd. I hope the Twins just make some ad money by putting logos on the seats. It was, all in all, a happy weekend.


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Agreed with #4 since the start of last season. Pretty easy to see after this many seasons that his talent vs shortcomings are a wash. Not many teams would give a perennial K king repeated starter opportunities. If he were a clutch hitter, I'd keep him. Get your return now before the stock gets fully exposed is my take.

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I was frustrated with Sano in 2018 but I never saw the point in selling low on him. Then, last year his transformation in terms of plate discipline was thoroughly impressive. I love that he got it together and he deserves a little early patience. This lineup will really be a killer if Sano and Donaldson get it going.

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(Yes, I understand it's hyperbole/over-reactionary.)


We will have save situations at some point this season. Even if by some miracle we didn't, Rocco isn't going to have Taylor NOT pitch EVER! Like, "Them's the breaks, kid. Maybe you'll pitch next season."

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