Minnesota Twins: The Inevitable Dethroning in the A.L. Central

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Jun 16, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 16, 2017; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Twins manager Paul Molitor in the ninth inning against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Minnesota Twins have one game left in the four-game set with Cleveland, and are currently looking up in the standings after falling to second place.

For many who follow the Minnesota Twins, many predicted this outcome. The Cleveland Indians are coming off of a World Series appearance. The Twins are coming off of yet another 100 loss campaign. It was only a matter of time before the Cleveland train overtook the team that had a surprising start.

In a four game series, the Minnesota Twins will trot out four different pitchers, none of which are named Ervin Santana or Jose Berrios. When playing your talented division opponent, this is not a recipe for success. This evidence is clear, as the Twins have already been outscored by 17 runs total in the first three games.

It is clear that the Twins don’t yet have the talent to match up with the Cleveland Indians.

Things might have turned out different if Santana or Berrios or both were set to pitch in the match up, however, don’t forget the Twins missed the Indians ace, Corey Kluber as well. The Twins have two good, great at times, starting pitchers, however the rest of the rotation is a mess.

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Injuries to Phil Hughes and Hector Santiago have left a void to be filled by waiver wire pick ups. When healthy, it is unclear what kind of contributions those two give to the staff regardless.

The bullpen is another clear advantage the defending Central Division champs have over the Minnesota Twins. At times, it has felt that it has been souvenir night at Target Field, once the relievers enter the game. The opposite can be said of the Indians, as they have two of the best relievers in baseball in Cody Allen and Andrew Miller.

The Rebuilding Isn’t Over.

The Twins have made drastic improvements over there play from a year ago. This team could very well improve 20 games and still not make the playoffs. This does not mean the club is out of the weeds yet. With setbacks to some of their best relief and starting pitching prospects, the Twins should consider trading some pieces to build with their core before the trade deadline.

Hold on one second, I know you are tired of the losing, we all are. However, Ervin Santana will never be more valuable, and on the flip side he will never bring this team to the playoffs. If he can get the Twins a pitching prospect or two, close to the majors, perhaps the team doesn’t have to throw out two waiver claims and a player a year removed from independent leagues at a World Series contender.

Also, picture this infield pair in your mind for a second, Nick Gordon and Jorge Polanco. Is this pair much worse than Brian Dozier and Polanco? (Keep in mind Polanco current WAR 0.9, Dozier 1.1 in 2017) Granted you are losing an All Star second baseman, you are going to lose offense. So the question has to be, what are you getting back? If the answer is a potential top of the line starting prospect, you have to listen to the offer.

Next: Road to the Show: Alan Busenitz

The Minnesota Twins may have disappointed some fans with their play this weekend. However, when looking at last season as a benchmark, they have grown tremendously in a half of a season. They have gotten outplayed by the AL champs, and now they need to do what it takes to compete in the future.

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