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  • 3 Reasons Why You Shouldn't Worry about the Minnesota Twins

    Matthew Taylor

    There is a lot of concern in Minnesota Twins Territory after the Twins four of five games against the Detroit Tigers  this week. Don’t sound the alarms, though, there are plenty of reasons not to worry.

    Image courtesy of Nick Wosika-USA TODAY Sports

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    1. Reinforcements are on the way

    A big reason why the Minnesota Twins have struggled over the last couple weeks have been because of the sheer number of players that they have been missing in these games. Just to list the name of players that have hit the injured list over the past two weeks illustrates how dire it has been: Carlos Correa (COVID-19), Joe Ryan (COVID-19), Gilberto Celestino (COVID-19), Josh Winder (Shoulder), Sonny Gray (Pectoral), Royce Lewis (Knee), Danny Coulombe (Hip). 

    The good news for the Twins, though, is that many of these players figure to be back shortly. It’s been just about one week since Ryan, Celestino and Correa hit the COVID-19 list and they figure to be back in the fold in just a few short days. Additionally, Jorge Alcala has already begun his rehab assignment as he reaches the end of his time on the 60-day injured list, and all reports point to his arm looking strong.

    The return timelines of Josh Winder, Sonny Gray and Royce Lewis are less clear, but all three of these vital players appear to have avoided major injuries and figure to be healthy in turn for the late summer home stretch of the season.

    Finally, the Twins are close to getting Alex Kirilloff added back onto the squad as well. Kirilloff struggled mightily during his time with the Twins, but since getting sent back down to AAA, Kirilloff has found his groove to the tune of a .863 OPS. Getting Kirilloff back to his expected form would be a big time addition.

    2. White Sox Look Terrible

    For as bad as the Minnesota Twins have looked lately, the Chicago White Sox have looked even worse. The team that everyone expected to run away with the American League Central has not at all looked the part all season. After falling prey to a sweep from the Toronto Blue Jays on Thursday afternoon, the White Sox now find themselves at 23-26 with a negative-55 run differential, the second-worst run differential in the American League.

    While true that the schedule is about to get tough for the Twins, the White Sox face an equally tough slate with their next six games coming against the Tampa Bay Rays and Los Angeles Dodgers.

    It’s hard to envision the Guardians, Tigers, or Royals making any sort of run at the American League Central, and with the White Sox looking as bad as they have looked, there’s still plenty of reason to feel optimistic about the Twins’ chances of making the playoffs.

    3. Third Wild Card Spot

    If the White Sox do figure things out and start playing much better than they have over the first third of the season, the Twins still have a great shot at making the playoffs via the Wildcard. As a part of the new CBA agreement, there are now three Wildcard teams that make the American League playoffs. In an American League where nine teams currently have a record under .500, it shouldn’t take any more than 85 wins to make the playoffs. To put that in perspective, the Twins would just need to play .500 baseball over the balance of the season to lock down a playoff spot. Additionally, all Wildcard teams are now guaranteed an extended playoff series, rather than a one-game playoff.

    There is certainly reason to be frustrated with how the Minnesota Twins have been playing lately. However, with the reinforcements on the way, along with the way the White Sox have been playing and the fact that three Wild Card teams from the American League will make the playoffs, the Minnesota Twins still find themselves in a good spot to reach the postseason, where anything can happen (even if you’re the Minnesota Twins).

    Are you worried about the Minnesota Twins? Leave a comment below and start the conversation!

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    None of these things are unreasonable. However, if the goal is to win a playoff series, then getting 85 wins by playing .500 the rest of the year and sneaking into the third wild card spot is not very reassuring. We need the health to get better and stay better, we need to play more consistently, and we need another arm to emerge in the bullpen as a reliable major league reliever. Two would be nice.

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    Reinforcements are on their way to replace the next wave of injuries, but nothing erases the Emilio Pagan experiment.  If I am reading this right - we do not worry because - the other teams stink.  It is not that we rise, but that the others all sink and those we are fine.  And then there is the third wild card - also known as the sacrificial lamb.

    Nice try -  I might have pointed out that Arraez is back to controlling the batters box, that Miranda has learned some of his AAA tricks, that Palacios can catch a ball hit to short, that Larnach seems to be set for a long future (if he is not back to a slump at the moment); that Smeltzer has arisen and actually looks quite good, and Byron Buxton got a hit again.

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    The past couple of years KC and DET have played us very tough. CLE owns CWS and we own CLE. We are back & forth w/ CWS. This KC/ DET series has been especially disappointing but now we're past it and TOR, NYY and TB will be tough but we'll get past it.

    We have an excellent core with the best defensive depth that we haven't had for a very long time. Recently that core has been down or sputtering but our secondary players are beginning to step up.

    The team is heading in the right direction. Hopefully mindsets will be changed, the core will get hot again, the young players will continue to develop, necessary trades will be made, hurt players will get 100% and everything will gel together by the time the season ends, going into the post season with a lot of momentum.


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    First off:  I ALWAYS worry about the Twins.  It's in my nature.  But I will agree, as "magical" as last year was for the White Sox (nearly everything went right for them, just like absolutely everything went wrong for the Twins) this year has been a nightmare for them.  I believe they WILL get better and the Twins will battle with them until the end.

    And yes, we should have some key guys coming back soon.  But, as was pointed out, in todays baseball guys are constantly hurt and the roster is always in a state of flux.  The Twins still need to make a few moves to strengthen this ballclub.  Dealing for a #1 (Montas, Castillo) or a solid #2 or #3 (Eovaldi, Mahle) is needed to give the Twins a 7-inning starter every 5th day so the bullpen doesn't run out of gas.  And dead weight like Theilbar and Duffey need to be replaced with some arms with more "juice."  Guys like Lopez (Baltimore) and Puk (Oakland) are a couple I'm partial to.

    I'd love to see some action NOW, but there really won't be anything happening until closer to deadline.  That said, I'm willing to part with young talent (except Canterino) to add a guy like Montas/Castillo who I would then offer a 5-year extension to be the staff Ace.  Both are better pitchers with higher upsides than Berrios, so I'd be willing to invest in them.  Getting Lopez and Puk for the pen should be pieces the Twins would have some control over for longer than just the end of this season too.  Working Lewis into the mix this season (with maybe a "dash" of Canterino) and I think the Twins could possibly even win a playoff game.  Maybe not the SERIES, but just win a darn game !!  

    And we'd have the foundation for a pretty talented young group going forward.  I think it's obvious this team doesn't need Miguel Sano.  What can they get for him ?  I'd listen.

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    I'm realatively bullish on this Twins team. I would like to see Polanco get going. Is he hurting more than we know? Hopefully Buxton can move forward off of his last three at bats last night as well.

    Full support for TopGun#22 and his ideas.

    My add is Montas and Puk and there are guys the Twins can trade for them. I have no idea what Oakland might look for ... maybe three of Martin, Steer, Wallner, Cruz, Woods-Richardson, Varland ???

    More importantly, perhaps is the mentioned possibility of Kirilloff returning and holding down first base. He has looked good the past few games from the camera angle on milb.com. The ball is coming off his bat and Alex has shown more aggressive swings than earlier this year. Maybe the scar tissue is gone. He just has looked more comfortable.

    The defense has looked better for the Twins this year and hopefully it even gets better as players return to full health. Palacios has looked outstanding as the replacement for Correa. He goes down when Carlos returns but should not be forgotten. Jermaine is also getting in some solid at bats and looks like a player that is improving his offense.

    Finally, I'm liking many of the guys in the bullpen and do believe that Alcala could be a big boost to that group. The only three (Duffey, Pagan, Thielbar) that look shaky have actually not been too bad, although I'm hoping others step forward to push those guys well down the list of options for Baldelli.


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    The experts last year told us it's early, it's a marathon not a sprint all the way into September.  It's natural to be skeptical if you are a Twins fan.  I am hoping they pull it off.  At this point with all the injuries and covid it's hard to predict.  Without any additions to the pitching staff I just don't see it happening.  My opinion is the pitching  has benefitted greatly from a weak schedule. I sense that as things get tougher the true story of our pitching staff will be shown:. That overall, except for a couple of notable exceptions, the pitching staff is not great, just average.  I sure hope twins can win the division.  At the current rate a wild card team will not come out of the central.

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    There are legitimate concerns for the Twins, but the basic core of this team is strong for now and the medium term. Consider the assets the team has assembled for multiple seasons ahead:

    Buxton, Arraez, Lewis, Larnach, Miranda, Kirilloff, Ryan, Ober, Duran, Alcala all of whom have shown some promise or more at the MLB level, with a number of intriguing prospects in the system too.

    This year and next: Polanco, Gray, Kepler. Urshela.

    This year and possibly more? Correa!

    The Twins are at a minimum in a competitive space and potentially a postseason team..


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    If the Twins want to seriously compete in 2022, they’ll need probably 1-2 more starters (1 very high-quality one at least), 2-3 more consistent relievers, and possibly another first-baseman. This team looks like they can definitely make those moves by diving into the prospect pool, and should make at least a few small moves now instead of later.

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    I don't know about you guys, but I am enjoying the ride so far. I just have to be careful not to think this team is better than it actually is for my own emotional health. I think this is a solid team, not great, not even very good, but very solid. Should be a very fun summer and I think we have a better than 50/50 chance of being in the playoffs. Who would've thought that after last year?

    Let's face it, we are one guy short in all three major categories and we need a top-end guy in each. The starting rotation is a #1/2 starter short, the bullpen desperately needs two late inning arms (I think Alcala can be one of those two), and the offense desperately needs a middle of the order bopper or for Buxton to be that guy and a high OBP guy to add. The fun part about the rest of the season is that we may actually have or be able to trade for or develop all of those guys. We have the prospect capital to get a Frankie Montas type starter, relievers tend to be the one thing you can trade for at the deadline and get actual help, and between Lewis, Miranda, and maybe even Kirilloff, we might have that extra middle of the order bat or high OBP guy we desperately need. Who knows, maybe even a miracle will hppen and Miguel Sano will come back with a .260/.325/.550 second half and be that middle of your bat. Stranger things have happened.

    Hey, it's been fun so far. It could be a fun summer baseball for this team.


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    flawed in so many ways...

    1)reinforcements?  Celestino is a "reinforcement"? and where exactly will these "reinforcements" play.? are expecting a 12 man batting order?  Yes Correa is a good get to have coming back, Lewis has shown in a short sample that he could be exciting, but where do you play him? especially if you are hyping Kirilloff? Kepler is in RF, Buxton in CF (2/3 at least) Larnach in LF (sorry but he aint coming out if he keeps hitting). so we have Celestino< Gordon (who is playing better again) already them fighting for 4th OF. Arraez needs ABS so 1B is about onyl spot for him, and Polanco and Correa have 2b/SS  down. (unless Lewis is a utility guy) and Urshela at this point is not coming off 3B for long stretches. which means  not onyl is it not a FT position for Lewis but Miranda is going back down. DH is Sanchez/rotation.  and offense isnt our main concern.  and yes Ryan will be back, and Sonny Gray will hopefully be back, but that still leaves us needign replacements for Bundy (ok so lets say that is Winder) and do we actually LOSe our best pitcher recently when "replaceents" come in Smeltzer?



    2) at this point we should no longer only be concerned with the Whitesox, it is the pesky Guardians who are coming hard, and have their next dozen games against teams like Baltimore, Oakland, Texas while we face the East.

    3) the third wildcard spot as of now we would hold, but with a slight dip an dwe are out of that spot as well.



    So yes there are things to be concerned about.

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    trading prospects to try and sneak into an expanded playoff we have no shot of winning is what bad organizations do. That would be as hair brained as someone suggesting Duran should be made into a starter. Just stop.

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    3 hours ago, Aggies7 said:

    trading prospects to try and sneak into an expanded playoff we have no shot of winning is what bad organizations do. That would be as hair brained as someone suggesting Duran should be made into a starter. Just stop.

    Teams that have any future goals of becoming better always look for ways to improve, both in in the short term and looking forward. Prospects are capital to spend and sometimes you need a new roof or refrigerator; go ahead and splurge because life is short.

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    If the Twins get in as a wild card they will not be playing the Yankees thus improving their odds of ending their playoff loosing streak.  I prefer the win the division but just sayin.

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