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4 Reasons the 2022 Season is More Frustrating Than 2021


Twins Daily Contributor

Twins fans have been left frustrated at the end of the last two seasons, but for entirely different reasons. Here are four reasons why the 2022 season is more frustrating than last year.

Image courtesy of David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

Nearly every baseball fan base will suffer frustration in any given season. Only one team walks away with the World Series title, and even the best clubs go through slides in a 162-game season. Minnesota still has a small window to reach the postseason, but it will take a tremendous turnaround from a very injured roster. So, what makes this season more frustrating than last year?

Early-Season Success
Most national projections had the Twins as the second-best team in the AL Central going into the season. Minnesota's early success masked the fact that the club was likely heading for a .500 record. Obviously, projections can be taken with a grain of salt, but the Twins' early season success changed the team's outlook. The AL Central was a mess, and it looked like the Twins had an opportunity to capitalize on one of baseball's worst divisions. During the 2021 season, the team was out of playoff contention by the end of the season's first month. While this was frustrating, it was easier for fans not to get wrapped up in the team's poor play for the remainder of the year. 

Trade Deadline Success and Failure
As July ended, the Twins were playing poorly, but they still sat at the top of the AL Central. Even so, the front office went into the trade deadline looking to add pieces to the roster. For the first time under this regime, it felt like the front office was trying to set the Twins up for second-half success and a possible playoff run. On paper, the players acquired at the deadline looked like a success, but it has turned into a failure. Tyler Mahle is injured, and likely won't pitch again in 2022. Jorge Lopez hasn't been a dominant reliever with the Twins while being pushed out of the closer role. Ideally, both players would lead Minnesota to a division title, which adds to fans' frustration when they aren't meeting expectations.  

Mounting Injuries
Last season, it didn't matter if there were injured players because the Twins were out of contention. Every team deals with injuries, but they have been catastrophic for the 2022 Twins. Injuries have become the theme for Minnesota as the club has put more players on the injured list than any other American League team. This has to be frustrating for the coaching staff because it feels like the team is playing without a full deck. It becomes easy to point fingers when a club isn't performing as expected, but the Twins can field a full roster of currently injured players

Not Meeting Injury Timelines
Another frustration related to injuries is how frequently the club has been wrong about timelines for players to return. It has been standard practice for teams to provide an injury timeline when a player goes on the IL. Unfortunately, the club has placed numerous players on the IL, but they haven't seemed to be able to get return timelines correct for multiple seasons. Traditionally, Minnesota has been conservative with their provided injury timelines, so one would hope the players could meet those timelines. For fans, this can add to frustration levels because there is an expectation that the team will improve when players get back on the field. 

Ultimately, the 2022 season has been frustrating for everything involved with the Twins. Fans have every right to be frustrated as the club has squandered an opportunity for a third division title in the last four seasons. 

Do you think the 2022 season has been more frustrating than 2021? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion. 


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Yes.  Very frustrating season for all the reasons mentioned in the well written article.  Add to it the teams pit hing philosophy of short starts and not having an adequate bullpen to back them up.  I believe the bullpen has lost over two dozen games.  Carlos Correa doing very little offensively until the last month of the season.  Terrible base running, terrible in game managing by Baldelli.  Yes the injuries have been way too high.  But to be honest many of those injured players were either not projected to help much or contribute to the major league club.  The injuries piled up at the end making for a convenient excuse to a dissappointing season.  When the team was relatively healthy, playing with a normal lineup, they blew many winnable games.  Remember those 5 disastorus losses to Cleveland earlier this year?  Yes it's been frustrating because the division was very winnable.  It's frustrating to see it slip away.  It's also frustrating to see the health players perform so poorly with very little energy.

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The overview of more frustration this year is accurate. MUCH rather be in contention & frustrated with injuries - move on from problems, (J. Smith - T. Duffey - E. Pagan eventually) - still have a 10% chance if we go 14 - 7 down the stretch…….than to be out of it by May 15! To not be competitive over a 6 month season is torture if you’re a fan in my opinion……..I live in Cincinnati & see it & hear about it daily.

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Yeah, beginning of last season, I could see how things were going so I resigned that the team would have absolutely no chance to go anywhere although we had a good core. This year with greater depth at SS & CF, I had more hope eventhough our BP was overall lousy.

For me last season was more frustrating, although it was short lived, it was  greatly more intense. This season I've always had hope that this team could turn it around.

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Well, I suppose the writer is correct.  However, he doesn’t touch on the reasons why I am frustrated.  
 

Last nights game is a perfect example. We torch a guy then have a series of at bats that were almost worthless. We need a consistent effort at the plate to have good at bats. That means swing at your pitch and when you are behind, defend the plate.  We have issues with this from the top of the order to the bottom.  
 

Rocco’s use of the bullpen. During a recent loss to Cleveland, I think the Archer game.   We bring in a guy who struggles and Rocco rolls with him.  We end up going down 6-0 and eventually lose 6-4. Those two runs were critical.  You see other managers much more on top of their bullpen. Just one of many examples of Rocco’s mystical approach. 

Not running.  We are giving away bases, I am assuming for health reasons.  Whatever man, we are playing baseball.  Play it!

 

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The injury issues with this team are really confusing, both in terms of the sheer number of injuries and the way they seem to drag on without getting better, and as you noted, the timelines for return seem to get extended and extended.  Let's be clear, some injuries, like what Lewis suffered, are bound to happen, and I am not an expert by any means, but I think the FO should review what is going on with the medical and training staff to make sure everything is being done to keep and get our players healthy.  

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For as frustrating as this year has been it has been a lot more fun than last year.  Being completely out of it after the first month of the season made last year really hard to be excited about Twins baseball at all.  At least with the fast start and being in it until late in the season games had meaning. 

So while the results were the same I enjoyed this years team much more than last years.  We need much better pitching to compete in the division and the playoffs though.  So I hope the arms we have stay\get healthy and that young arms develop otherwise this team is going no where next year either.

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2021 was a total system failure and the worst season in twins history  , most days you have hope the twins can win , in  2021 you knew everyday they were going to lose ...

2021 was worse than the 103 loss season  , the 103 loss 2016 season they lost a lot of competitive 1 run games but in 2021 they lost alot of blowouts ...

This season 2022 has been more successful and they did compete against bottom dwellers  but couldn't  win against winning teams ,

More work to do and injuries are just an excuse  , better evaluation of players is needed that are added to the roster  , stop the dumpster diving additions because that is what they are,  GARBAGE , they are not depth in the system if they can't perform at the highest level  ...

 

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53 minutes ago, Whitey333 said:

Yes.  Very frustrating season for all the reasons mentioned in the well written article.  Add to it the teams pit hing philosophy of short starts and not having an adequate bullpen to back them up.  I believe the bullpen has lost over two dozen games.  Carlos Correa doing very little offensively until the last month of the season.  Terrible base running, terrible in game managing by Baldelli.  Yes the injuries have been way too high.  But to be honest many of those injured players were either not projected to help much or contribute to the major league club.  The injuries piled up at the end making for a convenient excuse to a dissappointing season.  When the team was relatively healthy, playing with a normal lineup, they blew many winnable games.  Remember those 5 disastorus losses to Cleveland earlier this year?  Yes it's been frustrating because the division was very winnable.  It's frustrating to see it slip away.  It's also frustrating to see the health players perform so poorly with very little energy.

So who on our team were you expecting to contribute?  You say most of the injuries are to people we were not expecting much from.  Well, Buck has been basically injured all year, playing on a bad knee limiting him to 57 games in CF, yes an additional 34 at DH, but he is, when healthy best defender in CF.  Pretty sure we had high hopes for him contributing.  How about Polonco?  He was our MVP last year, and he has been hurt on the IL a couple of times playing about 100 games, but clearly some of them he was hurt, not sure why we would not be counting him.  Oh how about Royce Lewis, many expected he would do something this year at some point.  How about Sano, he missed the full year.  I am pretty sure we were expecting high offense from either Larnach or AK, both missing most of the year, and AK was hurt even in the games he mainly did play.  Jeffers was expected to be starter, yes his offense was down even before hurt, but he was heating up.  

So two of our starting OF missed large amounts of games, and a backup.  Our expected starting 1b missed full year basically, and his back up.  Our 2nd baseman has missed games as well.  I guess you were just expecting CC to carry us all year and no of the other starters were expected to much.  

Pitching, we did have large amounts of health there, but did lose two of our starters miss most of the season in Paddock and Ober.  Also, Winder after doing well then missed large amounts.  I will agree they were not expected to be much, and the pen did blow many games, but had our offense that was carried by a rookie and a guy that was our super utility guy that many wanted to cut coming into the year and a light hitting bat master.  But the main guys that would be expected to hit in the middle of line up all missed plenty of games.  

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I have enjoyed the Twins 2022 much more than 2021. Am I disappointed with the way the Twins' 2022 season has unraveled? Yes. But I try to take each game one at a time. I have enjoyed seeing the many successes during this season. At least the Twins were more competitive this year. I have enjoyed the positive attitudes of Correa, Gray, Urshela, Leon, Arraez and Cave. I have enjoyed the successes of several young players: Duran, Ryan, Miranda, Jax, Arraez and Gordon. I have marveled at Correa's fielding skills, his rocket throws and his leadership. I have been educated by Dick Bremer, Justin Morneau, LaTroy Hawkins, Roy Smally and Glen Perkins. All are men I would enjoy sharing a beer with at a ball game. It's almost like being present and watching a baseball game with them, as I listen to their insights and their extensive baseball knowledge and their humor. I have been so happy for Kitty and Tony O. What really nice men they are.  And I like the way the Twins organization honors and respects Carew, Tony O. and Kitty and other Twins "old-timers". I have seen glimpses of Twins' hitters finally trying to hit against the shift, as Carlos and Gio and especially Arraez have shown can be done with success. I have enjoyed throughout most of this season, telling my "Braves loving buddies" that my Twins were still in first place. I have even more reasons to fuel my hatred for the Yankees. Covid has become a much more manageable issue thanks to vaccines. The noises of the crowds can now be heard at games, and we no longer have silly cardboard cutouts silently watching.  For these reasons and the fact that I am getting older, I must honestly say, I have enjoyed the 2022 season much more than 2021. And even though today I can see her standing in the wings, ready to make an appearance, the fat lady ain't sung yet.

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My frustration continues to be management off season gambles on starting pitching no one wants. Bundy has been ok but Archer has been a complete waste of time. If this management group doesn't value starting pitching, and it seems clear to me they don't, then stop bringing old rehabbed starters in and spend your money on more and better bullpen guys. The use of Gray all year as been mystifying, the bullpen up until the trade deadline was below average. The Twins could have swept a 5 game series from Cleveland in June with a better bullpen. This team is where they are because of a lack of important pieces in June, games were handed to opponents, the injuries suck now but this division could have been ours before mid July with better moves in the winter.

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This season has had many problems, yet due to being in a weak division, they still haven't been eliminated,

Injuries like I've never seen, and to key pieces. Paddack, Mahle, Larnach, Kiriloff, Polanco, Buxton, Lewis, Ober, were all expected to be big contributors.

Front office made deadline deals that looked good at the time, but haven't panned out as expected. They do need to realize the bullpen is an important piece of the puzzle and fortify that and quit messing with throw away starters.

Finally was our coaching staff. Losing Wes was a huge blow in mid season. Rocco has failed in his management of the pitching staff, and failed in the expectation of playing fundamentally sound baseball.

I hope they got the bad luck with injuries out of the way this year. The pieces are there for a good team next year. I have to question rather Rocco is the guy to lead them!

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I would take this year over last year for sure.  It is very disheartening maybe more than frustrating to be eliminated from playoff contention by the end of April.  I had modest expectations for this year - I had the Twins for 79 wins finishing way behind the Sox so being in a pennant race is a nice surprise.  In addition to the items listed in the article other frustrating items are being non-competitive against the very top teams,  lack of fundamentals in particular baserunning and situational hitting.    A lot of positives though  - Arraez as a top hitter, solid play at SS and at the plate from Correa, Urshela is a solid player, development and emergence of Miranda and Gordon.  Gray, Ryan and Bundy have been solid pitchers and Duran has been great in the bullpen and I will throw in Jax as well.    Also have had fewer frustrating at-bats from Sano this year compared to last year.   Can't say the same for Kepler and Sanchez at-bats.     

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2-16 against the Yankees,  Dodgers, and Astros. All bottom feeders except the Reds have more wins here (Reds better win% against these teams) Our RBI leader might finish with the lowest total in at least the last 20 years, and Miranda is outpacing everyone else's paltry sum. Who would you call in in the clutch? Zero Twins qualify. Consistency with the bat? No one but Arraez if singles are your jam. (Miranda looks legit but too early yet). Big hits were so spread out and rare I found myself in disbelief when someone finally mustered up enough courage. Yeah, I remember very few offenses in our history I've liked less

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It is only more frustrating because I have invested more hope, time, money and energy into this team.  Last year you knew the team just stunk.  After Colome blew the season for us  right away all I cared about was keeping Byron who was the most exciting player we have had in year. This year has been a tease but I still hold out a little hope  because we can still control out own destiny.  I would love to see a much healthier Buck surprisingly come back in CF and help lead us to a sweep or 4 wins  against Cleveland.  In the end I do like that Gordon and Miranda stepped up. Injuries have been very frustrating but I am  a believer we will succeed in 2023  when we get back Mahle and Maida to go with Gray, Ryan, Ober, Varland, Winder, SWR.  I guess I feel much better about where this team is and believe they have redundant pieces they can afford to trade like Polanco to improve the team,

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47 minutes ago, Dennesey55347 said:

2-16 against the Yankees,  Dodgers, and Astros. All bottom feeders except the Reds have more wins here (Reds better win% against these teams) Our RBI leader might finish with the lowest total in at least the last 20 years, and Miranda is outpacing everyone else's paltry sum. Who would you call in in the clutch? Zero Twins qualify. Consistency with the bat? No one but Arraez if singles are your jam. (Miranda looks legit but too early yet). Big hits were so spread out and rare I found myself in disbelief when someone finally mustered up enough courage. Yeah, I remember very few offenses in our history I've liked less

Concur. Jose Miranda may be the only Twins player to surpass 70 RBI this season. The last time the Twins only had 1 player with 70+ RBI was 1999. Marty Cordova led the team with exactly 70 RBI. 

This year was set up to be a real feast or famine lineup. More often than not we’ve seen famine, especially in clutch situations with RISP. If our pitching wasn’t great at the beginning of the year we would likely be 5-10 games under .500 right now. The offense has never held up their side of the bargain this season. 

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2 hours ago, Doctor Gast said:

Yeah, beginning of last season, I could see how things were going so I resigned that the team would have absolutely no chance to go anywhere although we had a good core. This year with greater depth at SS & CF, I had more hope eventhough our BP was overall lousy.

For me last season was more frustrating, although it was short lived, it was  greatly more intense. This season I've always had hope that this team could turn it around.

14-7 (3 of 5 in Cleveland) rest of the year gets us into a possible Tie (85 wins) for the division. We are starting back-ups at 5 positions (whole outfield, 2B, & catcher)…….gonna be tough but have a shot!! Arraez has to play (leg problem) - can’t drop another key guy!

More interesting & fun than 2021!

I just checked Guardian’s schedule and unless there’s a mistake, they finish with 6 straight home games vs. the Royals. Tough to overcome that.

 

 

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2 hours ago, RJA said:

The injury issues with this team are really confusing, both in terms of the sheer number of injuries and the way they seem to drag on without getting better, and as you noted, the timelines for return seem to get extended and extended.  Let's be clear, some injuries, like what Lewis suffered, are bound to happen, and I am not an expert by any means, but I think the FO should review what is going on with the medical and training staff to make sure everything is being done to keep and get our players healthy.  

I'm to the point that I don't have any idea how injuries are managed. Like who is in charge of IL decisions? They have guys sit the full allotment of days they can before retroactively putting them on the IL (I think it's 4 days, but could be totally wrong). That means they play all of those days short handed with a completely wasted roster spot. Then their guys are slow to come back and 10/15 day IL stints that should last 4-6 weeks turn into 60 day IL stints that last 10+ weeks.

I think it's pretty obvious the FO has a large hand in game strategy and player usage, and it's why I don't think Rocco gets fired. He's in lockstep with them and their strategies. I'm starting to wonder how much of a role they play in the injury prevention and treatment department. Do they hire conservative medical teams that agree with a preconceived idea that rest, off days, and long IL stints are the smart thing to do? Have they just hired incompetent medical teams that can't diagnose or treat injuries? Really my question is what role the FO plays in everything involved with injury prevention and treatment. If it's more than simply asking Drs for their suggestions I think it's a major problem. Either way they need to re-evaluate everything when it comes to injuries moving forward into 2023 and beyond.

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#1 Frustration: playing poor fundamental baseball virtually day-in and day-out, especially when we know that, with our roster and injuries, superior fundamentals - from both the players and coaching staff - is our best chance to truly contend.

Sure, we’ve had more than our share of injuries. Get it. But there are no excuses for bad fundamental baseball. None. Zilch. Nada. If this team had been fundamentally sound, we’d be winning the division - injuries or not. That is what is so frustrating.

Figure out how to solve that in 2023 and see where that gets us.

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2021 was much more frustrating, as they were coming off consecutive division titles and went the opposite direction.  I was expecting a continuation of the poor results this year, so the early quick start was a pleasant surprise and the reversion to form merely expected.

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4 Reasons the 2022 Season is More Frustrating Than 2021

I suppose it's okay to call the season "frustrating" while it's still happening, but I'd prefer to wait until season's end for such analysis.

But if you're suggesting that it hasn't been fun in 2022, I'll gladly take the frustration of August and September over the apathy that resulted from playing their way out of contention in April and May of 2021.

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Bad baserunning, terrible relief in the first half, A lack of quality starts from Archer and whoever we threw out as our 5th man, a lack of quality at-bats from the bats, too many players on the 60-day, and what pisses me off is a lack of outfield help at the deadline. We’ve been throwing out Jake cave and Billy Hamilton regularly and it’s been a huge problem

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Definetly overall a better year than '21.

There is one category left off of the OP - the offseason and the FO.  They once again did little to bolster the SP and BP.  This is really bad if considering that they knew what the pitching philosophy was gonna be with short starts and heavy BP usage.  It should get them fired but alas it likely won't and we'll probably go through all of this BS next year.  And if we think they "learn" from their mistakes exhibit 1 and 2 are Bundy and Archer.  Small upgrades over the dumpster diving the previous season but it's still dumpster diving at its worst.  

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The opening day eve trade when the team seemed to be bullpen challenged already 

The Buxton 100 game plan after the high of him signing the team friendly deal

The elation of signing Correa followed by 50 RBI through August 

The success of the 5 and flies with Bundys but pulling Gray and Ryan into that same program

The excitement of the trade deadline followed by the offense disappearing and Mahle 

In summary frustrating because of the highs and lows

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It was frustrating in that it was obvious fairly early on that this team was not that good.   A very easy schedule to start the season compounded by playing in the weakest division in baseball gave some fans a false sense of what this team's destiny was going to be.    Once they started playing harder teams, the true skill level of this team was evidenced.   For me, the trade deadline was an absolute failure, particularly  in what we gave up for Mahle.  That trade will haunt down the road.

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Another season of moving on from baseball once the NFL starts. The predictable Buxton injury was especially frustrating. Trades for broken down pitchers Paddock and Mahle that didn’t help this year were  especially aggravating and a black mark on the FO. Lost a lot of minor league arms for 7 starts total.  

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A VERY frustrating season to be sure. Your article sums it up nicely. As far as injuries go you have to wonder about why Minnesota is hit so hard. Is it just the players we have are more prone to injuries? Or is there something about how the players are being handled by the organization? Either way, not fun!

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