Minnesota Twins Players of the Week: Arcia, Nunez come up big

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Apr 16, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Oswaldo Arcia (31) celebrates after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Oswaldo Arcia (31) celebrates after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /
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Arcia’s heroics, Nunez’ bat lead Minnesota Twins in Week Two (April 11-17)

Wow, what a week! Or to be more technical, what an end to the week!

After a deep, deep slumber the Minnesota Twins’ offense finally woke up thanks in large part to the offensive efforts of infielder Eduardo Nunez and outfielder Oswaldo Arcia.

More from Puckett's Pond

This week – like last week’s Most Valuable Twin honors – it was too difficult to truly make a choice for Player of the Week and I promise it won’t always be like this but the successful end of the week made it difficult to slim it down to just one.

And you also have to keep in mind this past week saw a spectacular set of performances from the bullpen and third baseman Trevor Plouffe.

But again, it’s a pair of role players who took the honors this week with Arcia hitting a game-winning home run on Saturday’s 6-4 win over the Los Angeles Angels and a 12th-inning walkoff RBI single to give the Twins a 3-2 win.

This comes as a very nice sign as Arcia was sent to Triple-A after getting injured last season and struggled mightily. To see him not only make good contact with the ball but have some great at-bats is a definite positive for the Twins.

Apr 16, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Byung Ho Park (52) celebrates with shortstop Eduardo Nunez (9) and left fielder Oswaldo Arcia (31) after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
Apr 16, 2016; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins first baseman Byung Ho Park (52) celebrates with shortstop Eduardo Nunez (9) and left fielder Oswaldo Arcia (31) after hitting a home run in the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Target Field. The Twins won 6-4. Mandatory Credit: Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY Sports /

It also gives manager Paul Molitor a tough decision to make as Arcia is currently the top-hitting outfielder on the roster.

For Nunez, he followed up a four-hit game on Sunday with a three-hit game on Friday, a two-hit game on Saturday and another hit in Sunday’s game.

At week’s end, Nunez was a combined 6-for-13, not including the 4-for-4 game last Sunday, which was last week according to Puckett’s Pond Player of the Week calendar.

Nunez’ contributions did not come in as dramatic fashion as Arcia’s but what was so important for the Twins was how he set the tone for the week. He put together some great at-bats, collected a bunch of hits and proved to be a consistent force offensively.

All in all, the Twins’ offense benefited from Nunez’ contributions in a big way as they literally doubled their scoring output in three games against the Angels, scoring 14 runs after just 14 total in their first nine outings.

HONORABLE MENTION

Special mention should go to the Twins’ bullpen. Through six games played last week, the bullpen allowed just one run and picked up all three wins over the weekend.

Reliever Michael Tonkin picked up his first career win on Sunday after working two innings, allowing no hits, no walks and striking out four with a healthy dose of mid-90’s fastballs.

Closer Kevin Jepsen also continued to turn things around after allowing three runs in his first two outings. He picked up a pair of saves over the weekend and allowed two walks over three appearances.

Next: Twins/Brewers Preview

Not to be forgotten, Plouffe – who may be headed to the Disabled List – has increased his average by .139 points. Heading into the Angels’ series, Plouffe was hitting .161 but went 8-for-12 in the series with three doubles, a homer and four RBI’s to increase his average to an even .300.

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