April Showers, May Flowers


The calendar has flipped to June, and with April and May now in the rear view mirror, it’s time to compare the two months and see how the Twins fared. Below is a short list of stats from each month worth noting:

  • The team doubled April’s win total in May from an abysmal 6 to a (slightly) more respectable 12 wins. In terms of win percentage, it was encouraging to see a 25% win rate climb up to a 43% rate. The team’s overall win percentage, however, is still 36%, just 3 percentage points above the 1962 Mets’ record-low of 33%. In other words, lots of room for improvement.
  • Francisco Liriano has started 7 games this year. On the second to last day of May, he posted his first quality start of the season. It was impressive and recalled memories of the lights-out Liriano that still toy with Twins fans. The “glass half full” approach sees this as a sign that the Twins may be able to cash the lefty in for a useful piece come July 31. The glass half empty approach points out his ERA is still over seven runs higher than Drew Butera’s.
  • The team’s ERA has shrunk over half a run from 5.64 to 4.96. Much of the credit for that improvement goes to three starters who were mere minor league depth in April before being called up and performing well in May: Scott Diamond, P.J. Walters, and Cole De Vries. In eleven starts, the trio has a combined 5-3 record and 2.61 ERA. Let’s hope their success is sustainable.
  • Other pitching positives include a lower WHIP and higher K/9 in May for the staff as a whole. In 57 more innings than the first month, the staff only allowed one home run more (34 in April, 35 in May).
  • The staff induced more than twice as many double plays in the second month. The fielders behind them committed more than twice as many errors, however, a troubling stat that needs to be remedied.
  • Offensively, things took a nosedive in May, as the team’s average and OPS plummeted (.264 to .227 and .722 to .676 respectively). On the bright side, total extra base hits and the club’s walk rate increased.
  • May additions Ben Revere and Drew Butera have surprised (both featherweights sporting an OPS over .730) and call-up Brian Dozier seems to have long leash as he works to prove shortstop should be his permanent home.
  • The lineup fixtures to improve their batting performances from April to May were those mainly slotted on the back end of the lineup card: Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Jamey Carroll. Conversely, Denard Span, Joe Mauer, Josh Willingham, and Alexi Casilla suffered big drops in their offensive output.

June features the draft, interleague play, and (on paper) an easier schedule than the first two months. As fans, we can only hope that the health of Mauer and Morneau continue and that their power returns; that Liriano, Carl Pavano, and Matt Capps showcase positive value as the trade deadline nears; that the rookies keep up their veteran-boosting success; and that the wins come at a higher clip. Bring it on.