You certainly cannot have a lot of fun watching a last place baseball team. Not last place in the AL Central, not last place in the AL, and certainly not last place in all of Major League Baseball. Especially not when the last place team you are watching was supposed to be contending for first place, and not last place. Sure, there is an interesting race going between the Minnesota Twins and the San Diego Padres in terms of offensive production, but the Minnesota Twins have been equally as poor on the pitching mound and take the cake as the most miserable team of 2011 through the first month of the 2011 season.
When the team you love is not fun to watch, and all the players on that team that you love to watch are on the Disabled List or playing AAA quality baseball, you have to find other things to brighten your day. Luckily, the Twins are off today and that means that their bullpen can rest, their starters have a chance to regroup, the position players have an opportunity to watch some film, and the fans have a break from watching mediocre baseball. The Cleveland Indians also have a day off today so the Twins will not be losing any ground on first place.
At the end of the day Twins fans, and baseball fans, just need something to look forward to. While we miss a day when our Home Nine is not on the field, let’s take a moment and find some positives from this dreadful start to the season and look for trends during the upcoming week. Here are five positives to keep you going as the Twins head to Chicago and Boston.
- Jason Kubel is smashing the baseball! This is the Kubel Twins Fans remember from 2009. Kubel’s 155 OPS+ (100 is considered average) is 14th best in the MLB.
- Denard Span’s OBP is .339, good enough for 2nd (behind Kubel) on a struggling Twins team. While not quite as impressive, that on base percentage puts Denard Span in the top 35 of all MLB players. This high OBP has given the Twins opportunities to score runs and he has crossed home plate a team leading 13 times, almost ½ run per game.
- Despite a league worst -64 run differential the Twins have still managed to win 9 games. The next worst team is the Chicago White Sox, the Twins’ opponent for a mid-week matchup. The Twins find themselves in a dead heat with the Chicago White Sox for last place in the AL Central, but a couple of wins at US Cellular Field could help ease some of that pain.
- After they leave Chicago later this week the Twins have an off day to travel before heading to Boston, who currently occupies last place in the AL East. After this weekend the Twins will be done with road games against the AL East with the exception of a lone visit to New York to make up a rain-out with the Yankees. The Twins will have 128 games left in their season and only have ONE left on the road against the AL East. That can only mean good things for this ballclub as it climbs out of the MLB cellar.
- Drew Butera has to hit better. He’s sporting a .106 batting average through his first 50 plate appearances. Steve Holm, the Twins’ current backup catcher, is not doing much better, hitting only .118 in limited duty. Butera hit .214 in the minors and Holm hit .242, so these two should be hitting at nearly TWICE their current rate.
It is not all Doom and Gloom. The sun will shine again on the 2011 Minnesota Twins.