In 2014, the Minnesota Twins currently sit at 52-64 with 46 games remaining. While they are currently 11.5 games back of the AL Central first place Detroit Tigers, September is very much their month to make count. As it stands, the Twins have failed to have a winning month in 2014, and making September count matters much more for 2015.
Very few teams find themselves in the position that Minnesota sees going forward. Terry Ryan will have some significant decisions to make in the coming months, and while Ron Gardenhire and his staff may be gone, the turnaround should also be expected to be swift.
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September is the month in which Major League Baseball teams can expand their rosters to 40 active players. The additional influx doesn’t all have to be utilized, but the Twins would be best served to make it work in their favor.
Just over a year ago, the Twins promoted Aaron Hicks straight from Double-A to the big league club at the beginning of the season. With only a handful of spring training contests as his experience, Hicks was well over matched to be a contributor in 2013, the Twins have a chance to right that kind of mistake going forward.
Alex Meyer and Trevor May are going to be relied upon names in the starting rotation for 2015. May is currently pitching with the big league club, while Meyer is quickly approaching his innings limit. Having them both make starts in 2014 at the major league level could go far in setting them up for success next year.
Other names for the Twins to look at before season’s end would be A.J. Achter, Sean Gilmartin, Jorge Polanco, and even Eddie Rosario. Each of those guys could be players battling for a spot on the 25 man roster next season.
The ability to bring up a player in September and work out the jitters before the start of a new season is of the utmost importance for a team looking to make a drastic turnaround.
Next season, with Miguel Sano looking like an opening day third base option, and a retooled rotation, the Twins should be aiming for nothing less than a .500 record. A wild card appearance may be their ceiling, but that sort of turnaround would be nothing short of drastic.
The Twins should employ a strategy in the conclusion of 2014 that ensures 2015 is the season that returns Twins Territory to relevancy.