But first, let’s address the elephant in the room. Overreactions are good natured and fun on paper, but could there be an iota of truth of what’s to come? Here are some Opening Day events of the past two seasons that ironically laid out the rest of the season:
- Jose Berrios will have the best season of his career (so far)
- Taylor Rogers will be the Twins’ best reliever this year
- The Twins will beat Cleveland to take the division
- Tyler Duffey and Trevor May will lead the pack in the year of the relievers
- Mitch Garver will not repeat his 2019 feats
- Luis Arraez will be an OBP God
- The Twins will beat the White Sox to take the division
While it’s unlikely the Twins will beat the Brewers to take the division, here are some other good natured, questionably valid overreactions from this season’s Opening Day.
Mitch Garver’s Will Be Better in 2021, but This Isn’t a Comeback
Mitch Garver had an unfortunate first day. The recipe just hasn’t quite clicked for Minnesota’s beloved GarvSauce. While he stayed one strikeout away from the golden sombrero, there was very little to celebrate. Twins Daily’s Matthew Taylor highlighted Garver’s continued struggles at the plate with fastballs today.
While Garver’s decline last year can be explained by his oblique injury, his recent good health indicates that he should be ready for a comeback. However, after a serious injury and a change in his swing mechanics to adjust for said injury, it’s more likely that this is an adjustment season for Garver, rather than a full comeback. While I am the biggest believer that Spring Training statistics shouldn’t be taken at face value, Garver’s run this spring showed that he may still be perfecting his plate approach and swing.
With Ryan Jeffers and red-hot Willans Astudillo ready in the wings, the Twins will see a more frequent revolving door of catchers throughout the season.
Kenta Maeda’s Demeanor Will Lead to his Second Cy Young Candidacy
Had Shane Bieber had a season akin to this outing, Kenta Maeda may have gone down in history as last season’s Cy Young winner. Today, Kool, Kalm, and Kollected Kenta had a shaky third inning that cost him the cusp of his pitch count but only one run. Unlike other pitchers today, Maeda was the only who successfully pitched himself out of a bases loaded jam with only this run as collateral. Although his WHIP inflated to a 1.85 in his first outing, more than two times last season, his stability and demeanor kept his bad situation from becoming a disaster, even when his command was off. Maeda has proved season after season that his stuff has the IT factor. If Maeda can continue to keep his demeanor through days like today where his command is a factor, a second Cy Young candidacy is definitely in the cards for this overdue ace.
Guess Who's Buck, Buck Again (Tell a Friend)
2021 is Byron Buxton's year, and we are just living in it. Buxton showed every side of his abilities today, from his baserunning, defense, and the immense power behind his 456 ft. (!!!) home run. This is the Byron Buxton the Twins have prayed and wished for for the past six years. It doesn’t take an expert to see that Byron Buxton has the athleticism and talent of an MVP. With a strong outfield presence behind Byron Buxton, the Twins can surely do their part in giving him enough days away from the wall to keep him healthy.
Josh Donaldson’s Legs Can Cost the Division
No one reading this needs an introductory paragraph explaining why Josh Donaldson is a crucial player for the Twins. The Twins need Donaldson behind Arraez, who seems to live on base. Unlike the outfield, there are no outstanding prospects waiting in the wings. Donaldson is the only solution. Losing Donaldson for an extended period of time puts the Twins back on even playing field with the White Sox.
Eliminate the Closer
Former closer Taylor Rogers hit 98. Current closer Alex Colomé was hit around instead. A reason for Rogers’ success was that he was finally put into a situation where the matchup was favorable, instead of shelving him exclusively for the ninth inning. Given his history, I’m not ready to write off Colomé entirely, but signs show that he could be on the decline. Therefore, if a favorable matchup occurs before the ninth inning, there is no reason to save him until later, just because he is the “closer.”
*Disclaimer: this paragraph was not sponsored by the Tampa Bay Rays
What are some other overreactions that you have from Opening Day? Comment them below.
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