What a week it was! Our Twins made headlines during the draft by selecting outfielder Byron Buxton (who may sign a contract very soon) and a cavalcade of hard-throwing pitchers. And they managed to play some pretty decent baseball on the field as well. A series win at Kansas City and another at home against the Cubs put the week’s record at 4-2. It was the second consecutive winning week for Minnesota – the first time that has happened all season long. Those victories lifted the Twins off baseball’s garbage heap; San Diego and the Cubs now have worse records than the Twins, and with another good week they could pass up Colorado, Oakland, Houston, and Seattle in the MLB pecking order. They’re also within a half game of Kansas City, which means they might not be in last place this time next week.
Still, the Twins are drawing some heavy criticism for their wimpy W-L record. The Onion lampooned the Twins‘ lackluster style of play in a fairly amusing article. It will take several more weeks like last week in order for the Twins to stop being the butt of such jokes.
The week ahead features a home series against the Philadelphia Phillies, normally among the NL’s best teams but suffering a dry spell this season, and three games against the Milwaukee Brewers. Given that both teams are struggling, another 4-2 week is not out of the question. The Brewers in particular could be an easy target; the Twins took two of three from them in Milwaukee last month.
Trevor Plouffe. Before last season, Plouffe never demonstrated much power in his minor or Major League career. But lately the ball has started to rocket off his bat on a regular basis. He went 7/23 with three homers and six RBI last week. Those homers brought his season total to nine, which is only two fewer than team leader Josh Willingham, and Plouffe has only had two thirds as many at bats as Willingham.
Ben Revere. 11 hits in 24 at bats gave Revere a .458 batting average for the week, and he swiped four bases to boot. We saw flashes of Revere’s potential last season, but this year his talents are on full display. The speedy outfielder has his average up to .327 this season, a number high enough that nobody will really care if he can draw walks or not.
Scott Diamond. If you were trying to score an earned run last week, let’s hope you weren’t facing Diamond. In two starts Diamond allowed only three runs, and all were unearned. He won two more games in the process, boosting his team-best W-L record to 5-1.
Denard Span. It’s downright shocking to see Span’s name on this list, so hopefully last week was a fluke. Span went just 2/16 at the plate, and he missed a couple of games with an illness. His season average was around .300 when the week began, but now it is .284.
Alexi Casilla. He wasn’t just the player “quoted” by The Onion last week; the real life Casilla is struggling as well. And his playing time is starting to become a lot more sparse. Casilla made it into just three games last week, and his 1/8 performance at the plate did not help.