The Bats are Finally Starting to Thaw


Much like the weather this spring, the Twins’ bats have been ice cold. Coming in to Wednesday’s game, out of 15 AL teams, they ranked 13th in runs, 12th in batting average, 14th in home runs, and 14th in OPS. Hitting wasn’t supposed to be the problem with this team. They were supposed to at least be upper middle of the pack offensively but struggle because of a terrible pitching staff. The pitching staff has actually been surprisingly competent up to this point, sitting exactly middle of the pack in ERA mainly due to an outstanding performance by the bullpen. The Twins hitting woes have been caused by slow starts from key guys like Aaron Hicks who was a black hole at the leadoff spot for much of April, and supposed sluggers Justin Morneau, Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Chris Parmelee. But as they hit Fenway Park this week they began to show signs, putting up a good performance against one of baseball’s best pitchers, Clay Bucholtz, in a game one loss, putting up six runs in a game two win, and yesterday putting up 15 runs even as they cost themselves more via boneheaded baserunning errors and left a bunch of guys on base. Hicks still isn’t hitting well, but he’s taking better at bats leading to more walks and extra base hits. Morneau, Doumit, and Plouffe have started to drive the ball more. And Oswaldo Arcia is starting to hit like his minor league number suggested he might. If the Twins can ride this momentum and keep the bats rolling, this team has the potential to be a good hitting ballclub. Hicks should eventually reclaim the leadoff spot and be a high OBP guy with some speed and pop there. Joe Mauer is still a stud. Justin Morneau is healthy and if he can get his head right can still be an impact power bat. Josh Willingham and Plouffe probably won’t hit for average but should put up a lot of homeruns. Doumit should be an above average power and batting average guy. And Arcia could challenge for Rookie of the Year if the Twins are able to find enough playing time for him. He has a chance to be another impact bat in the future and just looks like a guy who has a natural feel for hitting and iron in his wrists. I haven’t been worried about the hitting even though they’ve been terrible early on. I always believed they would hit. Hopefully we’re finally seeing it start.