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  • A Glimmer of 2019 the Twins Lineup Needed

    Nate Palmer

    In 2019 the Minnesota Twins had great success against left-handed pitching. Something that up until Wednesday night against the Brewers hadn't been seen at the same level in 2020. Eric Lauer may have been just what the Twins needed to settle some fears before Thursdays off day.

    Image courtesy of © Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

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    Wednesday night as the Minnesota Twins faced off against the Milwaukee Brewers the lineup went crazy! While it was great to see Miguel Sano blast a home run and Byron Buxton add two more to his total for the season as he continues his hot streak. It wasn’t one individual performance that created a breath of much needed optimism.

    The Twins lineup did exactly what we had grown accustomed to them doing in 2019, crush left-handed pitching. Up until Wednesday’s performance it wasn’t something we had seen a whole lot of. In 2019 the Twins numbers against lefties were .285/.351/.521 with a .872 OPS. That was up from a line of .264/.333/.484 and a .817 OPS when facing right-handed pitchers.

    The hard thing about any stat and analytic as we comment on this season is going to be sample size. While there have not been a lot of opportunities against lefties this season, the Twins have been held at bay against the lefties not named Gio Gonzalez up until their matchup with Eric Lauer at Miller Park.

    That lack of output very well could be chalked up to just a better than average level of left-handed starters that the Twins have seen this year. Dallas Keuchel and Danny Duffy are both former if not current No. 1’s in their team’s rotation. While the Twins were able to get to Duffy for four runs, Keuchel held the Twins to two runs, all on a Nelson Cruz home run.

    Wednesday night's performance may have been the perfectly timed outburst of offensive production to calm a multitude of questions as many of us were beginning to worry about the potency of the lineup. After a stretch where the Twins lost 5 of 6 and just couldn’t seem to consistently score runs through the entirety of the game, this was a good way to leave us before the day off on Thursday.

    While Wednesday wasn’t the power explosion with Lauer on the mound that we may be used to from 2019 when facing the lefties (With exception of Sano’s homer and a couple doubles). It was still some consistent offense over the duration of 3.2 innings against a side of the platoon they dominated last season. The Twins put up 9 hits, 7 runs, 2 walks against Lauer which would be something we would be happy with in a full game let alone 3.2 innings. Then from there, even after Lauer’s departure, the lineup didn’t stop hitting.

    While both sides of the team batting splits improved, the facing left-handed pitching numbers saw a significant increase and now sits at .253/.328/.370 and a .698 OPS. Still a ways away from the overall numbers of 2019, but good signs for an offense that felt slow to go even if the team has continued to put wins on the board.


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    It may help if Baldelli quit putting the the guy with a .150 batting average and lowest slugging percentage on the team (Garver is being out slugged by Adrianza and Cave) in the lead off spot.


    Even with Baldelli slotting our worst hitter lead off and our hottest hitter 8th/9th, it is not the offense that’s the issue, IMO. We have no starting pitching, and the bullpen is very tip-heavy. That’s what will hold this team back, as per historical status quo. Our “ace” (Berrios) is not a very good pitcher. Nobody else can stay healthy or unsuspended.


    I’m not to the point of blaming Baldelli. But, I’m starting to think he needs to be questioned on some things, which is probably viewed as blasphemy. Is he doing anything to help, or is he just a product of a phenomenal roster? I’m starting to wonder.

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    Unless Garver and Sano become something other than pathetic automatic K's, we're going to see rally-killings. If you can throw 93, you can get it past both those guys, anywhere in the zone. Hope they're doing something between games to speed up those bats.

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