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Nash Walker last won the day on March 6 2020

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  1. The Twins have a lot more baseball to play and many more games to win. It’s too early to call them genuine contenders, but it’s never early enough to look at who may be available for them to make a move at the deadline. Let’s dive in! The Needs This changes weekly (or even daily) as injuries and ineffectiveness ebbs and flows throughout a season. Even then, every team can get better in any area. The 2019 Astros had a rotation fronted by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the No. 1 and 2 finishers in Cy Young voting. That didn’t stop them from trading with Arizona for Zack Greinke, who had pitched to a 2.90 ERA in 146 innings for the Diamondbacks. You can *always* get better. Knowing this, here are the needs I’ve identified for the 2022 Twins. 1. Frontline starter Nothing has changed here. As well as Twins starters have fared, they could use another frontline starter to pair with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan. This starter doesn’t necessarily have to cost a ton, nor do they have to be team-controlled beyond this season. Enter Nathan Eovaldi: The Red Sox are off to a plodding start. The rotation has been shaky, the bullpen shakier, and the looming threat of Xander Bogaerts’ impending free agency is hovering above it all. Not only is Bogaerts likely to opt out of his contract, their No. 1 starter, Nathan Eovaldi, is nearing the end of his four-year, $68 million contract. Eovaldi, 32, is emerging as a prime trade candidate as the Red Sox fall behind in a tough division. The American League East is a gauntlet, and someone has to finish fourth. Eovaldi has coughed up an MLB-leading 14 home runs in eight starts, including five in the 2nd inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Astros. It’s been a rough go, but one need not look far to find the appeal in the right-hander. He pairs an upper-90s fastball with a slider that produced a 35% whiff rate last season. His 2.95 FIP led the American League in 2021. Eovaldi is coming off two career years in one of the harshest pitching environments in baseball and he struck out eight Yankees in five-plus innings of one-run ball in the Wild Card Game. The Red Sox owe Eovaldi $17 million this summer, so any team he joins will take on the remaining salary (~$9 million at the deadline). The performances of both the Red Sox and Eovaldi over the next two months will dictate his trade value, but it’s hard to imagine him costing more than a few mid-level prospects. Eovaldi is a viable game one starter if he’s right and at least a mid-rotation starter if he’s who he was before 2021. Other Red Sox to watch: DH/OF J.D. Martinez: another impending free agent who continues to produce. Imagine a lineup with righties Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Martinez, flanked by Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, and a revamped Max Kepler. Sheesh. 2. High-leverage reliever Jhoan Duran has fully embraced his role in the bullpen and is currently must-watch TV. He’s a legitimate weapon, but who else back there is? Emilio Pagán, while posting solid numbers, continues to tightrope trouble. Griffin Jax is an exciting development, but his command is spotty enough to wonder if he could handle high-leverage situations. The Twins could use a high-octane, late-inning option. Let me introduce Jorge López, who you may remember from the rival Royals. López posted a 6.42 ERA in 158 ⅓ innings as a hybrid starter in Kansas City. The stuff has always been there for the Puerto Rican, and now he’s finally settled into a late-inning role for the Orioles. López, 29, averages 98 MPH with a turbo sinker, and opponents are having serious trouble hitting his high-spin curveball. He’s missing barrels and forcing opponents to beat balls straight into the ground. Like most unestablished flamethrowers, López sometimes battles his control. When he’s throwing strikes, López is shutting down both righties and lefties. Acquiring López would require a change in the Twins’ style. They rarely commit to relievers past one year, and they’ve never broken the bank for one via trade. López is under team control through 2024, so a trading team would essentially get 2.5 years of his services. López and Duran would give the Twins two fire-breathing right-handers, with Jax, Pagán, Caleb Thielbar, and Tyler Duffey all moved down in the pecking order. Other Orioles to watch: OF Anthony Santander: an underrated switch-hitter who has learned how to draw more walks. A free agent after the 2024 season, Santander is not a particularly great defensive outfielder, but not a complete butcher. 3. A big bat The Twins are benefitting from improved depth. Gilberto Celestino has been a pleasant surprise in the outfield, and Gary Sánchez is driving in runs as the backup catcher and part-time DH. Luis Arraez spends his time at first base as Gio Urshela and José Miranda man the hot corner. Oh, and Royce Lewis is simmering at Triple-A. The offense isn’t a weakness, but it could stand to get better. Nationals first baseman Josh Bell could be an excellent fit for the Twins. Bell, 29, traded to Washington in 2020, has been a solid contributor in more ways than one. Bell does a lot of things well. Through Friday, he’s hit .273/.360/.472 (133 OPS+) with 31 homers in 182 games for the Nats. He’s a switch-hitter who rakes from the left side. He’s a serviceable right-handed hitter, but Bell’s main utility for the Twins would be against right-handed pitchers. Bell has a career .845 OPS as a left-handed hitter, and his 2022 overall expected batting average ranks in the 93rd percentile. Bell is an average defensive first baseman and brings the experience the Twins are looking for at the position. Bell’s career strikeout rate is sub-20%. He hits for average, he hits for power, and he’s one of the more underrated players in baseball. He's an impending free agent, with the Nationals owing him $10 million in his final year of arbitration. This is a fun lineup to dream on for the second half: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Carlos Correa, SS 3. Jorge Polanco (S), 2B 4. Josh Bell (S), 1B 5. Luis Arraez (L), DH 6. Royce Lewis, 3B 7. Max Kepler (L), RF 8. Ryan Jeffers/Gary Sánchez, C 9. Trevor Larnach (L), LF Other Nationals to watch: DH Nelson Cruz: Cruz could be hitting that 41-year-old sized wall, but his batted-ball data is still excellent. How about one final playoff chase with the Boomstick? What do you think about these trade options for the Twins? Comment below! View full article
  2. The Needs This changes weekly (or even daily) as injuries and ineffectiveness ebbs and flows throughout a season. Even then, every team can get better in any area. The 2019 Astros had a rotation fronted by Gerrit Cole and Justin Verlander, the No. 1 and 2 finishers in Cy Young voting. That didn’t stop them from trading with Arizona for Zack Greinke, who had pitched to a 2.90 ERA in 146 innings for the Diamondbacks. You can *always* get better. Knowing this, here are the needs I’ve identified for the 2022 Twins. 1. Frontline starter Nothing has changed here. As well as Twins starters have fared, they could use another frontline starter to pair with Sonny Gray and Joe Ryan. This starter doesn’t necessarily have to cost a ton, nor do they have to be team-controlled beyond this season. Enter Nathan Eovaldi: The Red Sox are off to a plodding start. The rotation has been shaky, the bullpen shakier, and the looming threat of Xander Bogaerts’ impending free agency is hovering above it all. Not only is Bogaerts likely to opt out of his contract, their No. 1 starter, Nathan Eovaldi, is nearing the end of his four-year, $68 million contract. Eovaldi, 32, is emerging as a prime trade candidate as the Red Sox fall behind in a tough division. The American League East is a gauntlet, and someone has to finish fourth. Eovaldi has coughed up an MLB-leading 14 home runs in eight starts, including five in the 2nd inning of Tuesday’s loss to the Astros. It’s been a rough go, but one need not look far to find the appeal in the right-hander. He pairs an upper-90s fastball with a slider that produced a 35% whiff rate last season. His 2.95 FIP led the American League in 2021. Eovaldi is coming off two career years in one of the harshest pitching environments in baseball and he struck out eight Yankees in five-plus innings of one-run ball in the Wild Card Game. The Red Sox owe Eovaldi $17 million this summer, so any team he joins will take on the remaining salary (~$9 million at the deadline). The performances of both the Red Sox and Eovaldi over the next two months will dictate his trade value, but it’s hard to imagine him costing more than a few mid-level prospects. Eovaldi is a viable game one starter if he’s right and at least a mid-rotation starter if he’s who he was before 2021. Other Red Sox to watch: DH/OF J.D. Martinez: another impending free agent who continues to produce. Imagine a lineup with righties Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Martinez, flanked by Jorge Polanco, Luis Arraez, and a revamped Max Kepler. Sheesh. 2. High-leverage reliever Jhoan Duran has fully embraced his role in the bullpen and is currently must-watch TV. He’s a legitimate weapon, but who else back there is? Emilio Pagán, while posting solid numbers, continues to tightrope trouble. Griffin Jax is an exciting development, but his command is spotty enough to wonder if he could handle high-leverage situations. The Twins could use a high-octane, late-inning option. Let me introduce Jorge López, who you may remember from the rival Royals. López posted a 6.42 ERA in 158 ⅓ innings as a hybrid starter in Kansas City. The stuff has always been there for the Puerto Rican, and now he’s finally settled into a late-inning role for the Orioles. López, 29, averages 98 MPH with a turbo sinker, and opponents are having serious trouble hitting his high-spin curveball. He’s missing barrels and forcing opponents to beat balls straight into the ground. Like most unestablished flamethrowers, López sometimes battles his control. When he’s throwing strikes, López is shutting down both righties and lefties. Acquiring López would require a change in the Twins’ style. They rarely commit to relievers past one year, and they’ve never broken the bank for one via trade. López is under team control through 2024, so a trading team would essentially get 2.5 years of his services. López and Duran would give the Twins two fire-breathing right-handers, with Jax, Pagán, Caleb Thielbar, and Tyler Duffey all moved down in the pecking order. Other Orioles to watch: OF Anthony Santander: an underrated switch-hitter who has learned how to draw more walks. A free agent after the 2024 season, Santander is not a particularly great defensive outfielder, but not a complete butcher. 3. A big bat The Twins are benefitting from improved depth. Gilberto Celestino has been a pleasant surprise in the outfield, and Gary Sánchez is driving in runs as the backup catcher and part-time DH. Luis Arraez spends his time at first base as Gio Urshela and José Miranda man the hot corner. Oh, and Royce Lewis is simmering at Triple-A. The offense isn’t a weakness, but it could stand to get better. Nationals first baseman Josh Bell could be an excellent fit for the Twins. Bell, 29, traded to Washington in 2020, has been a solid contributor in more ways than one. Bell does a lot of things well. Through Friday, he’s hit .273/.360/.472 (133 OPS+) with 31 homers in 182 games for the Nats. He’s a switch-hitter who rakes from the left side. He’s a serviceable right-handed hitter, but Bell’s main utility for the Twins would be against right-handed pitchers. Bell has a career .845 OPS as a left-handed hitter, and his 2022 overall expected batting average ranks in the 93rd percentile. Bell is an average defensive first baseman and brings the experience the Twins are looking for at the position. Bell’s career strikeout rate is sub-20%. He hits for average, he hits for power, and he’s one of the more underrated players in baseball. He's an impending free agent, with the Nationals owing him $10 million in his final year of arbitration. This is a fun lineup to dream on for the second half: 1. Byron Buxton, CF 2. Carlos Correa, SS 3. Jorge Polanco (S), 2B 4. Josh Bell (S), 1B 5. Luis Arraez (L), DH 6. Royce Lewis, 3B 7. Max Kepler (L), RF 8. Ryan Jeffers/Gary Sánchez, C 9. Trevor Larnach (L), LF Other Nationals to watch: DH Nelson Cruz: Cruz could be hitting that 41-year-old sized wall, but his batted-ball data is still excellent. How about one final playoff chase with the Boomstick? What do you think about these trade options for the Twins? Comment below!
  3. Matt Canterino has been dominant since the Twins drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2019 Draft. Canterino starred at Rice University, where they’re known to push their young arms. He pitched very well there, but his numbers pale compared to his production in the minors. Canterino has pitched 68 2/3 innings in the Twins system. He’s given up nine runs, which equates to a 1.18 ERA. He’s struck out 104 of the 259 hitters he’s faced, a 40% clip. He pairs a mid-to-upper 90s fastball with a hammer breaking ball and a sneaky firm changeup, a pitch Canterino has worked on to better attack lefties. He hasn’t allowed a run in 17 straight innings, striking out 23. Opponents have gone 4-for-55 with one extra-base hit. Canterino, 24, is charging up prospect lists. It was a rough start to 2022 for Canterino, who walked six in his first 3 2/3 innings of the season. Since then, he’s been absolute nails. Canterino has given up just one homer in his Minor League career, and now he’s shoving at the upper levels. Right-handed hitters have gone 15-for-151 (.099) with 70 strikeouts against him since his Minor League debut in 2019. He struck out 45 of the 81 hitters he faced in 2021. He's posted video-game numbers since day one. Canterino has thrown 20 2/3 innings for Wichita, posting a 1.31 ERA and 34% strikeout rate. He’s walked more than he would prefer, but it’s a sterling start considering he spent much of 2022 on the injured list with an elbow problem. Canterino may possess the second-best repertoire in the system, behind only Jhoan Duran. Like Duran, there are real questions about Canterino’s ability to remain as a starter. He has a herky-jerky delivery and has already dealt with arm troubles. The Twins are watching his workload closely, and he’s averaging around 50 pitches per start. Canterino may end up in the Twins’ bullpen, and it’s fair to wonder if he could help them as soon as mid-summer. He has the stuff and the makeup to accelerate quickly. Canterino is a key part of a wave of upper-minors starting pitchers the Twins have been developing. While Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and Josh Winder impress for the big league club, the depth in the minors is exciting. Jordan Balazovic is back, Cole Sands is on the cusp of the majors, and Canterino is mowing down hitters at Double-A. Not to mention 2021 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Louie Varland, who is off to a strong start at Double-A as well. This was the plan and remains the largest storyline for the 2022 Twins. Beyond the obvious stars in the system, 2020 fourth-round pick Marco Raya has a 2.40 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 15 innings for Low-A Fort Myers. David Festa, the Twins' 13th-round pick out of Seton Hall in last year's draft, is pumping 97-99 with his fastball, carving out his path for a breakout season. Simeon Woods Richardson, acquired at the 2021 deadline, has a 1.67 ERA in five starts for the Wind Surge. Even Blayne Enlow is back after undergoing Tommy John surgery 11 months ago. Improved health (so far) has been the difference between 2021 and 2022 for the Twins' top pitching prospects. Canterino could follow a similar path to Duran, who started in St. Paul's rotation last year before going down with elbow soreness of his own. The Twins moved Duran to the bullpen, recognizing that his outstanding stuff could help the team immediately. They seem determined to let Canterino start for as long as possible. An ideal season for Canterino would be reaching the 80-inning mark while finding success in a promotion to Triple-A. It's viable that Canterino joins the Twins for the stretch run, especially if the team is lacking high-powered arms late this season. For now, he's whooping almost every hitter who stands in the box.
  4. Twins fans have already seen numerous exciting MLB debuts from the organization’s top pitching prospects. There’s more on the way, and perhaps the best one resides in Double-A Wichita’s rotation. Matt Canterino has been dominant since the Twins drafted him in the 2nd round of the 2019 Draft. Canterino starred at Rice University, where they’re known to push their young arms. He pitched very well there, but his numbers pale compared to his production in the minors. Canterino has pitched 68 2/3 innings in the Twins system. He’s given up nine runs, which equates to a 1.18 ERA. He’s struck out 104 of the 259 hitters he’s faced, a 40% clip. He pairs a mid-to-upper 90s fastball with a hammer breaking ball and a sneaky firm changeup, a pitch Canterino has worked on to better attack lefties. He hasn’t allowed a run in 17 straight innings, striking out 23. Opponents have gone 4-for-55 with one extra-base hit. Canterino, 24, is charging up prospect lists. It was a rough start to 2022 for Canterino, who walked six in his first 3 2/3 innings of the season. Since then, he’s been absolute nails. Canterino has given up just one homer in his Minor League career, and now he’s shoving at the upper levels. Right-handed hitters have gone 15-for-151 (.099) with 70 strikeouts against him since his Minor League debut in 2019. He struck out 45 of the 81 hitters he faced in 2021. He's posted video-game numbers since day one. Canterino has thrown 20 2/3 innings for Wichita, posting a 1.31 ERA and 34% strikeout rate. He’s walked more than he would prefer, but it’s a sterling start considering he spent much of 2022 on the injured list with an elbow problem. Canterino may possess the second-best repertoire in the system, behind only Jhoan Duran. Like Duran, there are real questions about Canterino’s ability to remain as a starter. He has a herky-jerky delivery and has already dealt with arm troubles. The Twins are watching his workload closely, and he’s averaging around 50 pitches per start. Canterino may end up in the Twins’ bullpen, and it’s fair to wonder if he could help them as soon as mid-summer. He has the stuff and the makeup to accelerate quickly. Canterino is a key part of a wave of upper-minors starting pitchers the Twins have been developing. While Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober, and Josh Winder impress for the big league club, the depth in the minors is exciting. Jordan Balazovic is back, Cole Sands is on the cusp of the majors, and Canterino is mowing down hitters at Double-A. Not to mention 2021 Minor League Pitcher of the Year Louie Varland, who is off to a strong start at Double-A as well. This was the plan and remains the largest storyline for the 2022 Twins. Beyond the obvious stars in the system, 2020 fourth-round pick Marco Raya has a 2.40 ERA and 19 strikeouts in 15 innings for Low-A Fort Myers. David Festa, the Twins' 13th-round pick out of Seton Hall in last year's draft, is pumping 97-99 with his fastball, carving out his path for a breakout season. Simeon Woods Richardson, acquired at the 2021 deadline, has a 1.67 ERA in five starts for the Wind Surge. Even Blayne Enlow is back after undergoing Tommy John surgery 11 months ago. Improved health (so far) has been the difference between 2021 and 2022 for the Twins' top pitching prospects. Canterino could follow a similar path to Duran, who started in St. Paul's rotation last year before going down with elbow soreness of his own. The Twins moved Duran to the bullpen, recognizing that his outstanding stuff could help the team immediately. They seem determined to let Canterino start for as long as possible. An ideal season for Canterino would be reaching the 80-inning mark while finding success in a promotion to Triple-A. It's viable that Canterino joins the Twins for the stretch run, especially if the team is lacking high-powered arms late this season. For now, he's whooping almost every hitter who stands in the box. View full article
  5. For as unlikely as the signing was, Carlos Correa is precisely who the Twins need at this point, both as a player and person. Coming off an extremely disappointing and last-place season, fans were rightly frustrated about the club's direction. It’s not like losing teams are ever *that* fun, but the 2021 Twins were downright dull. They played with complacency that was evident to the naked eye. Reporters had little access for much of the year due to Covid, but the sense of a discouraged and disjointed clubhouse was real. Nelson Cruz led the Twins to back-to-back division titles in 2019 and 2020, hitting .308/.394/.626 with 57 homers in 173 games. He was an incredible contributor to the offense, but his guidance off the field sent his value through the roof. Leadership styles and vibes vary, even among the winningest clubhouses. Cruz’s loose, fun, and calm personality perfectly fits Rocco Baldelli’s mantra. I can't say the same for Josh Donaldson, who assumed a leadership role after signing a four-year, $92 million deal before the 2020 season. At the time of the signing, I felt Donaldson was a perfect key to help the Twins break out of their postseason losing streak. Now, I can’t help but think his clubhouse fit never made sense. It rarely looked like he was an actual part of the team, and Correa’s immediate impact only amplifies this feeling. Donaldson certainly contributed when healthy, posting a 128 OPS+ in 163 games, and I’m not suggesting teammates disliked him. It just didn’t work for both sides, and that’s fine! It’s impossible to know the impact Donaldson had on the clubhouse, but it’s fair to say his hardened style paled in comparison to Cruz and Baldelli. Donaldson's bulldog-vibe could be a double-edged sword. A winning team may appreciate his bravado, but a last-place team could wear down over the 162-game grind. The Yankees, Donaldson’s new team, have won 18 of their first 25 games. It’s about fit, and I’m not sure Donaldson ever did in Minnesota. With Correa, who values the day-to-day focus and trusts the process, the Twins have the co-leader they need. Byron Buxton is the face of the Twins, and even Correa admits this is “Byron’s team,” but Correa’s presence is undoubtedly impactful. Of course, this is easier to conclude as the team is in first place. Buxton did admit this spring, though, that it's a "night and day" feeling in the clubhouse. It goes behind Correa. Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic wrote about the "immediate bond" felt among the Twins' rotation members. The 2022 Twins look (so far) like a tough, entertaining, and tightly-knit group. I have no idea if the Twins' change in vibe is sustainable, or if it will wear down with a losing stretch. I do know that even if it’s a one-year deal, Correa feels like a Twin. Donaldson hoped he would leave a legacy in Minnesota, but for one reason or another, it didn’t happen. Correa is off to a great start in that regard, and the sky is the limit for how far he can take the 2022 Twins. Please leave your thoughts, questions, and COMMENTS below.
  6. These Twins feel different. and Carlos Correa is right in the middle of it. For as unlikely as the signing was, Carlos Correa is precisely who the Twins need at this point, both as a player and person. Coming off an extremely disappointing and last-place season, fans were rightly frustrated about the club's direction. It’s not like losing teams are ever *that* fun, but the 2021 Twins were downright dull. They played with complacency that was evident to the naked eye. Reporters had little access for much of the year due to Covid, but the sense of a discouraged and disjointed clubhouse was real. Nelson Cruz led the Twins to back-to-back division titles in 2019 and 2020, hitting .308/.394/.626 with 57 homers in 173 games. He was an incredible contributor to the offense, but his guidance off the field sent his value through the roof. Leadership styles and vibes vary, even among the winningest clubhouses. Cruz’s loose, fun, and calm personality perfectly fits Rocco Baldelli’s mantra. I can't say the same for Josh Donaldson, who assumed a leadership role after signing a four-year, $92 million deal before the 2020 season. At the time of the signing, I felt Donaldson was a perfect key to help the Twins break out of their postseason losing streak. Now, I can’t help but think his clubhouse fit never made sense. It rarely looked like he was an actual part of the team, and Correa’s immediate impact only amplifies this feeling. Donaldson certainly contributed when healthy, posting a 128 OPS+ in 163 games, and I’m not suggesting teammates disliked him. It just didn’t work for both sides, and that’s fine! It’s impossible to know the impact Donaldson had on the clubhouse, but it’s fair to say his hardened style paled in comparison to Cruz and Baldelli. Donaldson's bulldog-vibe could be a double-edged sword. A winning team may appreciate his bravado, but a last-place team could wear down over the 162-game grind. The Yankees, Donaldson’s new team, have won 18 of their first 25 games. It’s about fit, and I’m not sure Donaldson ever did in Minnesota. With Correa, who values the day-to-day focus and trusts the process, the Twins have the co-leader they need. Byron Buxton is the face of the Twins, and even Correa admits this is “Byron’s team,” but Correa’s presence is undoubtedly impactful. Of course, this is easier to conclude as the team is in first place. Buxton did admit this spring, though, that it's a "night and day" feeling in the clubhouse. It goes behind Correa. Britt Ghiroli of The Athletic wrote about the "immediate bond" felt among the Twins' rotation members. The 2022 Twins look (so far) like a tough, entertaining, and tightly-knit group. I have no idea if the Twins' change in vibe is sustainable, or if it will wear down with a losing stretch. I do know that even if it’s a one-year deal, Correa feels like a Twin. Donaldson hoped he would leave a legacy in Minnesota, but for one reason or another, it didn’t happen. Correa is off to a great start in that regard, and the sky is the limit for how far he can take the 2022 Twins. Please leave your thoughts, questions, and COMMENTS below. View full article
  7. The Twins have navigated through a demanding schedule in April. There’s a considerable buzz surrounding the club as they sit in first place in the American League Central. Here are three reasons to believe in the 2022 Twins. 1. The Central looks weak Sooner or later, the White Sox will find their stride. They’re missing key pieces from a roster that won 93 games and the division in 2021. Third baseman Yoán Moncada is progressing toward a return from an oblique injury. Lance Lynn, who threw 157 outstanding innings for an excellent rotation last year, is hoping to return in late May from knee surgery. 2020 Silver Slugger winner Eloy Jiménez likely won’t be back until the summer months, but he’s on the mend. The cavalry is coming. Even then, the White Sox have evident flaws. Their defense is the worst in the American League by Outs Above Average, and Defensive Runs Saved. Bullpen stalwarts Liam Hendriks and Aaron Bummer are struggling to get outs in the late innings. Without Lynn, the rotation is thin. Dallas Keuchel has been terrible, while Vince Velasquez can’t keep runners off base. The White Sox’s depth is far from what it was in 2021, and they’re digging a hole early. The Tigers and their fans hoped the team would produce a hot start, burying the rebuild in the rearview. The opposite is happening. The Tigers have lost 12 of their first 18 games with a weak offense and equally lousy defense. Desperately needing a run, the Tigers must go to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers this weekend. It’s too early to call a season doomed, but things are rough in the Motor City. The Guardians made some noise early, pairing good offensive production with their outstanding pitching. They’ve crashed back to earth since that solid 7-5 start. They’re struggling to score runs, an expected trend when their only hitters with track records are superstar José Ramírez and streaky slugger Franmil Reyes. It’s possible Cleveland surprises, but their ceiling feels limited. The Royals could present challenges for the competitive teams in the division. They've already won series' against the Twins and White Sox, and they're always tricky at Kauffman. I'd be surprised if they won more than 75 games, but I wouldn't completely write them off as a walk-in-the-park matchup. 2. They have a competent starting rotation It’s unlikely Twins starters will continue to pitch as well as they have, but the perception of the rotation has changed considerably since Opening Day. Joe Ryan is better than he was last September. Chris Paddack is, too. The Twins will get their projected No. 1 starter, Sonny Gray, back in short order (hamstring). The Twins' rotation is taking shape. Dylan Bundy won’t post a sub-1 ERA this year, but he may finish as a solid No. 4 starter in a competitive rotation. That’s not insignificant, especially considering his 6.06 ERA and 5.51 FIP from a year ago. Bundy’s presence as a five-inning, three runs or less starter is potentially a massive development for the Twins. Bailey Ober had been rock-solid before his groin injury, and Paddack has pitched like a No. 3. There’s a real chance the Twins will have at least an average starting rotation by the trade deadline. That outcome felt like a long shot less than a month ago, so I’m still setting the expectations relatively low. If the Twins have a winning team and are within striking distance of the playoffs, I’d expect them to make that move for an impact starter. They’ll need him if October becomes a reality. 3. They have depth, with more on the way In the preseason, the 2021 Twins looked to have substantial depth in all roster areas. That couldn’t have been further from the outcome. The Twins quickly learned they lacked viable backups at almost every position, especially in the rotation. Injuries hampered the young starting pitchers in the minors, though, which hasn’t been the case early this year. Fingers crossed. Royce Lewis is performing exceptionally well in St.Paul. José Miranda was in serious consideration for an Opening Day roster spot after a terrific Minor League season in 2021. Beyond them, Spencer Steer, an underrated versatile infielder, is raking at Double-A Wichita. The Twins have desirable depth in the infield. A healthy Alex Kirilloff would go a long way in the outfield, sending Trevor Larnach down the depth chart. The most important storyline for the 2022 Twins remains with the young starters. Simeon Woods Richardson has yet to allow a run through 21 ⅔ innings for Wichita. Matt Canterino is back on track after a shaky start, and his stuff looks pristine. Jordan Balazovic is still on the injured list with a knee strain, but he is still their best pitching prospect. There look to be reinforcements in both the rotation and bullpen. The Twins have a long way to go, and it’s wise to watch with a skeptical eye, but it’s hard not to get excited about where they could go this year. View full article
  8. 1. The Central looks weak Sooner or later, the White Sox will find their stride. They’re missing key pieces from a roster that won 93 games and the division in 2021. Third baseman Yoán Moncada is progressing toward a return from an oblique injury. Lance Lynn, who threw 157 outstanding innings for an excellent rotation last year, is hoping to return in late May from knee surgery. 2020 Silver Slugger winner Eloy Jiménez likely won’t be back until the summer months, but he’s on the mend. The cavalry is coming. Even then, the White Sox have evident flaws. Their defense is the worst in the American League by Outs Above Average, and Defensive Runs Saved. Bullpen stalwarts Liam Hendriks and Aaron Bummer are struggling to get outs in the late innings. Without Lynn, the rotation is thin. Dallas Keuchel has been terrible, while Vince Velasquez can’t keep runners off base. The White Sox’s depth is far from what it was in 2021, and they’re digging a hole early. The Tigers and their fans hoped the team would produce a hot start, burying the rebuild in the rearview. The opposite is happening. The Tigers have lost 12 of their first 18 games with a weak offense and equally lousy defense. Desperately needing a run, the Tigers must go to Los Angeles to face the Dodgers this weekend. It’s too early to call a season doomed, but things are rough in the Motor City. The Guardians made some noise early, pairing good offensive production with their outstanding pitching. They’ve crashed back to earth since that solid 7-5 start. They’re struggling to score runs, an expected trend when their only hitters with track records are superstar José Ramírez and streaky slugger Franmil Reyes. It’s possible Cleveland surprises, but their ceiling feels limited. The Royals could present challenges for the competitive teams in the division. They've already won series' against the Twins and White Sox, and they're always tricky at Kauffman. I'd be surprised if they won more than 75 games, but I wouldn't completely write them off as a walk-in-the-park matchup. 2. They have a competent starting rotation It’s unlikely Twins starters will continue to pitch as well as they have, but the perception of the rotation has changed considerably since Opening Day. Joe Ryan is better than he was last September. Chris Paddack is, too. The Twins will get their projected No. 1 starter, Sonny Gray, back in short order (hamstring). The Twins' rotation is taking shape. Dylan Bundy won’t post a sub-1 ERA this year, but he may finish as a solid No. 4 starter in a competitive rotation. That’s not insignificant, especially considering his 6.06 ERA and 5.51 FIP from a year ago. Bundy’s presence as a five-inning, three runs or less starter is potentially a massive development for the Twins. Bailey Ober had been rock-solid before his groin injury, and Paddack has pitched like a No. 3. There’s a real chance the Twins will have at least an average starting rotation by the trade deadline. That outcome felt like a long shot less than a month ago, so I’m still setting the expectations relatively low. If the Twins have a winning team and are within striking distance of the playoffs, I’d expect them to make that move for an impact starter. They’ll need him if October becomes a reality. 3. They have depth, with more on the way In the preseason, the 2021 Twins looked to have substantial depth in all roster areas. That couldn’t have been further from the outcome. The Twins quickly learned they lacked viable backups at almost every position, especially in the rotation. Injuries hampered the young starting pitchers in the minors, though, which hasn’t been the case early this year. Fingers crossed. Royce Lewis is performing exceptionally well in St.Paul. José Miranda was in serious consideration for an Opening Day roster spot after a terrific Minor League season in 2021. Beyond them, Spencer Steer, an underrated versatile infielder, is raking at Double-A Wichita. The Twins have desirable depth in the infield. A healthy Alex Kirilloff would go a long way in the outfield, sending Trevor Larnach down the depth chart. The most important storyline for the 2022 Twins remains with the young starters. Simeon Woods Richardson has yet to allow a run through 21 ⅔ innings for Wichita. Matt Canterino is back on track after a shaky start, and his stuff looks pristine. Jordan Balazovic is still on the injured list with a knee strain, but he is still their best pitching prospect. There look to be reinforcements in both the rotation and bullpen. The Twins have a long way to go, and it’s wise to watch with a skeptical eye, but it’s hard not to get excited about where they could go this year.
  9. Growling Expectations The Tigers, coming off five straight losing seasons, expect to compete in 2022. They won 77 games in manager A.J. Hinch’s first season with the club, finishing in third place in the Central in 2021. While the Tigers surprised with nearly 80 wins, they feasted off a historically bad division. It hasn’t been a clean start, as the Tigers have won only six of their first 15 games. The offense has been poor, and they’ve dealt with many injuries. So far, performance hasn’t met the loftiest expectations Tigers fans have had since they won four straight AL Central titles from 2011 to 2014. How Detroit won 77 games in 2021 is somewhat remarkable. Tigers position players accounted for 9.4 fWAR, the third-lowest in MLB. The pitching staff accumulated 10.2 fWAR, tied for 8th-lowest. It wasn’t a good team, but it was a significant step forward in a new era with Hinch. There is reason for optimism in the Motor City. The Tigers' hopes start with former No. 1 pick Casey Mize, who is currently on the injured list with an elbow sprain. Lefty Tarik Skubal is off to a terrific start and harnesses a fastball in the mid-90s. The Twins have trouble against velocity-oriented lefties, and they’ll see Skubal in Thursday’s finale. Current Twins do have six homers in 73 plate appearances against him. Speaking of lefties, the Tigers signed former Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodríguez for five years and $77 million this offseason. Rodríguez has given up eight runs in 13 innings with an elevated fly-ball rate. He's set to pitch the series opener on Tuesday. Many Twins fans thought the team should bring back veteran Michael Pineda to round out the rotation. Instead, Pineda signed with the Tigers for one year and $5.5 million, and he pitched well in his first start, throwing 60 pitches and holding the Yankees down for five innings. Pineda will return to the Target Field mound Wednesday in a different uniform. The Tigers also added a new shortstop in Javier Báez on a six-year, $140 million deal. Báez is a divisive but highly talented player and can carry an offense for prolonged periods. He’s also an elite defender at shortstop, saving 46 runs since his debut in 2014. Of course, that comes with extreme swing-and-miss and long stretches of slumps Detroit’s offense posted a measly 93 wRC+ in 2021 (100 in league average), even with a Jeimer Candelario breakout and strong seasons from rookie Akil Baddoo and career minor-leaguer Eric Haase. This year, 2020’s first overall pick Spencer Torkelson joins the lineup. Torkelson looked like a complete hitter in the minors, and he enters the series hitting .217/.345/.435 in 15 games. The Tigers have a dynamic and semi-dangerous set of hitters, especially after the late addition of Austin Meadows. Mr. 3000 Miguel Cabrera is always a focus, and the Tigers have a group that could cause problems for the Twins. THREE SERIES X-FACTORS: 1. Carlos Correa Byron Buxton frankly took control of the Twins’ sweeping of the White Sox over the weekend. He leads the American League with 1.3 fWAR and a .946 slugging percentage. He can completely flip any game, and the Tigers certainly know the damage he is capable of. Carlos Correa, meanwhile, is hitting a light .192 with minimal power. If he can get going behind Buxton, the Tigers will have trouble keeping this lineup down for three games. 2. Javier Báez Báez is back after a thumb injury landed him on the 10-day injured list. He has the highest upside of any Tiger and is hitting the middle of the order. Báez, like Buxton, can heat up and dominate in a hurry. The Twins will feed him a steady diet of breaking balls, but if they hang it, he’ll bang it. Báez presents a simple but not easy challenge. 3. The bullpens The Tigers’ bullpen ranks first in the American League with a 2.30 ERA. Gregory Soto is evolving into an elite closer, and Michael Fulmer has found a new (and successful) home as a reliever. The Twins sport the 7th-highest bullpen ERA in MLB (4.16). If current trends hold, the Twins may be in trouble in the late innings. Pitching Probables Tues (6:40 CT): RHP Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00 ERA) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wed (6:40 CT): RHP Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Thurs (12:10 CT): RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) What do you think the keys to this week's series are?
  10. The Twins completed an emotional three-game sweep of the reigning American League Central champion White Sox, while the Tigers lost two of three to the Rockies at home. Let’s preview this upcoming three-game series at Target Field. Growling Expectations The Tigers, coming off five straight losing seasons, expect to compete in 2022. They won 77 games in manager A.J. Hinch’s first season with the club, finishing in third place in the Central in 2021. While the Tigers surprised with nearly 80 wins, they feasted off a historically bad division. It hasn’t been a clean start, as the Tigers have won only six of their first 15 games. The offense has been poor, and they’ve dealt with many injuries. So far, performance hasn’t met the loftiest expectations Tigers fans have had since they won four straight AL Central titles from 2011 to 2014. How Detroit won 77 games in 2021 is somewhat remarkable. Tigers position players accounted for 9.4 fWAR, the third-lowest in MLB. The pitching staff accumulated 10.2 fWAR, tied for 8th-lowest. It wasn’t a good team, but it was a significant step forward in a new era with Hinch. There is reason for optimism in the Motor City. The Tigers' hopes start with former No. 1 pick Casey Mize, who is currently on the injured list with an elbow sprain. Lefty Tarik Skubal is off to a terrific start and harnesses a fastball in the mid-90s. The Twins have trouble against velocity-oriented lefties, and they’ll see Skubal in Thursday’s finale. Current Twins do have six homers in 73 plate appearances against him. Speaking of lefties, the Tigers signed former Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodríguez for five years and $77 million this offseason. Rodríguez has given up eight runs in 13 innings with an elevated fly-ball rate. He's set to pitch the series opener on Tuesday. Many Twins fans thought the team should bring back veteran Michael Pineda to round out the rotation. Instead, Pineda signed with the Tigers for one year and $5.5 million, and he pitched well in his first start, throwing 60 pitches and holding the Yankees down for five innings. Pineda will return to the Target Field mound Wednesday in a different uniform. The Tigers also added a new shortstop in Javier Báez on a six-year, $140 million deal. Báez is a divisive but highly talented player and can carry an offense for prolonged periods. He’s also an elite defender at shortstop, saving 46 runs since his debut in 2014. Of course, that comes with extreme swing-and-miss and long stretches of slumps Detroit’s offense posted a measly 93 wRC+ in 2021 (100 in league average), even with a Jeimer Candelario breakout and strong seasons from rookie Akil Baddoo and career minor-leaguer Eric Haase. This year, 2020’s first overall pick Spencer Torkelson joins the lineup. Torkelson looked like a complete hitter in the minors, and he enters the series hitting .217/.345/.435 in 15 games. The Tigers have a dynamic and semi-dangerous set of hitters, especially after the late addition of Austin Meadows. Mr. 3000 Miguel Cabrera is always a focus, and the Tigers have a group that could cause problems for the Twins. THREE SERIES X-FACTORS: 1. Carlos Correa Byron Buxton frankly took control of the Twins’ sweeping of the White Sox over the weekend. He leads the American League with 1.3 fWAR and a .946 slugging percentage. He can completely flip any game, and the Tigers certainly know the damage he is capable of. Carlos Correa, meanwhile, is hitting a light .192 with minimal power. If he can get going behind Buxton, the Tigers will have trouble keeping this lineup down for three games. 2. Javier Báez Báez is back after a thumb injury landed him on the 10-day injured list. He has the highest upside of any Tiger and is hitting the middle of the order. Báez, like Buxton, can heat up and dominate in a hurry. The Twins will feed him a steady diet of breaking balls, but if they hang it, he’ll bang it. Báez presents a simple but not easy challenge. 3. The bullpens The Tigers’ bullpen ranks first in the American League with a 2.30 ERA. Gregory Soto is evolving into an elite closer, and Michael Fulmer has found a new (and successful) home as a reliever. The Twins sport the 7th-highest bullpen ERA in MLB (4.16). If current trends hold, the Twins may be in trouble in the late innings. Pitching Probables Tues (6:40 CT): RHP Chris Paddack (0-2, 5.00 ERA) vs. LHP Eduardo Rodriguez (0-1, 5.27 ERA) Wed (6:40 CT): RHP Joe Ryan (2-1, 1.69 ERA) vs. RHP Michael Pineda (1-0, 0.00 ERA) Thurs (12:10 CT): RHP Bailey Ober (1-1, 2.81 ERA) vs LHP Tarik Skubal (1-1, 2.30 ERA) What do you think the keys to this week's series are? View full article
  11. The most recent episode of Locked On Twins broke down the starts for multiple Twins prospects. If you enjoy it, please like and subscribe! Episode here:
  12. It’s been an ugly start for the Twins and their bat rack. Aaron Gleeman broke down the awful numbers here if you thought your eyes were deceiving you. The good news is that the Twins have three hopeful offensive contributors on the way. It’s never wise to place the “instant contributor” tag on any prospect. The early struggles of Bobby Witt Jr., baseball’s No. 1 prospect, and Spencer Torkelson, the first-round pick in the 2020 Draft, show that it’s unwise to expect immediate results from even the best rookie hitters. The Twins are struggling to score runs. Naturally, fans start to wonder about reinforcements. Who could give this group a boost? And more importantly, why should you believe it could be better in the future? Gary Sánchez, Carlos Correa, and Miguel Sanó are virtual locks to depart after the season, while Max Kepler enters the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2023. Gio Urshela is a clear non-tender candidate. There was significant turnover this offseason, especially in the rotation. We could see the same type of flip in the lineup next winter. It doesn’t have to start then, though. MLB Pipeline ranks three Twins hitters in their Top-100 Prospect Rankings. Royce Lewis (45) has dropped considerably since the Twins selected him with the first pick in 2017, but his talent is undeniable. Lewis is raking at Triple-A for the Saints. He’s hitting for power, drawing walks, using the opposite field, and stringing outstanding plays at shortstop. It’s still super early, but the early returns on Lewis are nothing short of remarkable. His production shouldn’t be a surprise to those who know how special his tools still are. The assumed plan to replace Correa with Lewis in 2023 looks sound so far. If things continue to go this well for him at Triple-A, it’s not crazy to think Lewis could join the Twins relatively soon. He’s the highest upside player in the entire system, and his previous prospect status would’ve placed him at a 2022 mid-season debut. While Lewis carries the most upside, Austin Martin’s floor feels the safest. Martin, ranked as the No. 51 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, is known for his quality of at-bat and elite ability to make contact. His skillset is a right-handed Luis Arraez, and that specific mastery tends to translate fastest. Martin may never develop real power, but it feels like he’s close to the majors even without it. The Twins’ Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2021 put together one of the best seasons the organization has ever seen. José Miranda, now a Top-100 prospect, led the minors in total bases and hit 30 homers across the two highest levels. He’s off to a slow start in 2022, but Miranda had an outside chance of making the team outright this spring. He’s likely the first call if a corner infielder gets hurt. The Twins are hoping that Lewis, Martin, and Miranda make up the heart of the lineup for the next half-decade, preferably as soon as possible. With Byron Buxton locked in, it’s easy to envision a potential core for the future. If things continue to stay downhill for the Twins’ offense, they have three top prospects who could help when the weather warms up. View full article
  13. It’s never wise to place the “instant contributor” tag on any prospect. The early struggles of Bobby Witt Jr., baseball’s No. 1 prospect, and Spencer Torkelson, the first-round pick in the 2020 Draft, show that it’s unwise to expect immediate results from even the best rookie hitters. The Twins are struggling to score runs. Naturally, fans start to wonder about reinforcements. Who could give this group a boost? And more importantly, why should you believe it could be better in the future? Gary Sánchez, Carlos Correa, and Miguel Sanó are virtual locks to depart after the season, while Max Kepler enters the final guaranteed year of his contract in 2023. Gio Urshela is a clear non-tender candidate. There was significant turnover this offseason, especially in the rotation. We could see the same type of flip in the lineup next winter. It doesn’t have to start then, though. MLB Pipeline ranks three Twins hitters in their Top-100 Prospect Rankings. Royce Lewis (45) has dropped considerably since the Twins selected him with the first pick in 2017, but his talent is undeniable. Lewis is raking at Triple-A for the Saints. He’s hitting for power, drawing walks, using the opposite field, and stringing outstanding plays at shortstop. It’s still super early, but the early returns on Lewis are nothing short of remarkable. His production shouldn’t be a surprise to those who know how special his tools still are. The assumed plan to replace Correa with Lewis in 2023 looks sound so far. If things continue to go this well for him at Triple-A, it’s not crazy to think Lewis could join the Twins relatively soon. He’s the highest upside player in the entire system, and his previous prospect status would’ve placed him at a 2022 mid-season debut. While Lewis carries the most upside, Austin Martin’s floor feels the safest. Martin, ranked as the No. 51 prospect in baseball by MLB Pipeline, is known for his quality of at-bat and elite ability to make contact. His skillset is a right-handed Luis Arraez, and that specific mastery tends to translate fastest. Martin may never develop real power, but it feels like he’s close to the majors even without it. The Twins’ Minor League Hitter of the Year in 2021 put together one of the best seasons the organization has ever seen. José Miranda, now a Top-100 prospect, led the minors in total bases and hit 30 homers across the two highest levels. He’s off to a slow start in 2022, but Miranda had an outside chance of making the team outright this spring. He’s likely the first call if a corner infielder gets hurt. The Twins are hoping that Lewis, Martin, and Miranda make up the heart of the lineup for the next half-decade, preferably as soon as possible. With Byron Buxton locked in, it’s easy to envision a potential core for the future. If things continue to stay downhill for the Twins’ offense, they have three top prospects who could help when the weather warms up.
  14. The Twins’ 2022 schedule is an exciting mix of challenging stretches, light runs, and everything in-between. April offers perhaps their most difficult month of the year. The Twins’ first ten games of the season are against teams that won 90 or more games last year. The Mariners added Jesse Winker, Robbie Ray, and uber-prospect Julio Rodríguez to a talented roster that lost only 72 games in 2021. The Dodgers, baseball’s premier team, signed superstar Freddie Freeman. The heart of the Red Sox lineup is as dangerous as any, and the Twins must face them in their home-opening series at Fenway. Tough sledding. No one is crying for the Twins. The team insisted they were trying to compete this year, and if you can’t hang with the best teams, you have no business making a run to the postseason. The Twins’ most-winnable series of April is a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium next week, but the Royals have always played the Twins tough, especially in Kansas City. The good news for a Twins club needing a solid start is that May lightens up considerably. Four games in Baltimore, six games against the now-lowly Athletics, and 13 straight games against the Royals and Tigers await. The Twins, if they are a real contender this year, should be able to handle most of those matchups. It’s how they won 101 games in 2019. They'll have to do it without Alex Kirilloff and Jorge Alcala, at least for now. The Twins ended their season extremely early last year. They dug a hole so deep (14-28 record) before the summer months even arrived. It’s okay to find your footing early, and it would be understandable for the Twins to scuffle a hair in the first half with young starters on the rise. There’s a stark difference, though, between scuffling and sinking. The Twins have to remain around .500 through April. The goal: 11-11 or 10-12 by the end of the Tampa Bay series on May 1st. It’s a relatively low bar, but April rivals August as the Twins’ most challenging month. If they can weather the storm, they should be in a good spot when the calendar flips to April. Of course, they still have to play and win those lighter games. The Twins project to win between 80 and 86 games this year. Taking care of business against visibly-inferior teams (Royals, A’s, Orioles) is essential, but so is managing the tough stretches. The difference between 11-11 April and an 8-14 April is massive. If we manage expectations, the Twins should be shooting for a record that’s five or six games above .500 by the All-Star Break. They have the ammunition to add at the deadline and make a push in August and September. The Twins will show us glimpses of who they are as soon as this weekend at Fenway. Split or win the series, and things are looking up. Lose three out of four or get swept, and the confidence will continue to dwindle. You are your record, after all. View full article
  15. The Twins’ first ten games of the season are against teams that won 90 or more games last year. The Mariners added Jesse Winker, Robbie Ray, and uber-prospect Julio Rodríguez to a talented roster that lost only 72 games in 2021. The Dodgers, baseball’s premier team, signed superstar Freddie Freeman. The heart of the Red Sox lineup is as dangerous as any, and the Twins must face them in their home-opening series at Fenway. Tough sledding. No one is crying for the Twins. The team insisted they were trying to compete this year, and if you can’t hang with the best teams, you have no business making a run to the postseason. The Twins’ most-winnable series of April is a three-game set at Kauffman Stadium next week, but the Royals have always played the Twins tough, especially in Kansas City. The good news for a Twins club needing a solid start is that May lightens up considerably. Four games in Baltimore, six games against the now-lowly Athletics, and 13 straight games against the Royals and Tigers await. The Twins, if they are a real contender this year, should be able to handle most of those matchups. It’s how they won 101 games in 2019. They'll have to do it without Alex Kirilloff and Jorge Alcala, at least for now. The Twins ended their season extremely early last year. They dug a hole so deep (14-28 record) before the summer months even arrived. It’s okay to find your footing early, and it would be understandable for the Twins to scuffle a hair in the first half with young starters on the rise. There’s a stark difference, though, between scuffling and sinking. The Twins have to remain around .500 through April. The goal: 11-11 or 10-12 by the end of the Tampa Bay series on May 1st. It’s a relatively low bar, but April rivals August as the Twins’ most challenging month. If they can weather the storm, they should be in a good spot when the calendar flips to April. Of course, they still have to play and win those lighter games. The Twins project to win between 80 and 86 games this year. Taking care of business against visibly-inferior teams (Royals, A’s, Orioles) is essential, but so is managing the tough stretches. The difference between 11-11 April and an 8-14 April is massive. If we manage expectations, the Twins should be shooting for a record that’s five or six games above .500 by the All-Star Break. They have the ammunition to add at the deadline and make a push in August and September. The Twins will show us glimpses of who they are as soon as this weekend at Fenway. Split or win the series, and things are looking up. Lose three out of four or get swept, and the confidence will continue to dwindle. You are your record, after all.
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