Minnesota Twins: The Twins Send 3 to the All Star Game

ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 04: Miguel Sano
ANAHEIM, CA - JUNE 04: Miguel Sano /

The Minnesota Twins are sending three players to Miami as All Stars for the first time in almost a decade. Could they be playoff bound?

Trivia time, Minnesota Twins fans! When was the last time the Twins sent 3 players to an All Star game? If you said 2008, take a bow and keep that knowledge tucked away for a round of Final Jeopardy someday. The year Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Joe Nathan represented the Twin Cities was the last time we saw 3 of our guys not on the golf course in mid July.

Granted, each team sends one representative every year. However, that is not always indicative of a team’s success. The most die-hard fans would agree that there wasn’t much to get excited about last season. Seems like even Eduardo Nunez was a controversial All Star selection with the numbers Brian Dozier put up.

Rotation Rock Stars

This year is a different story, though. With the Twins hanging onto 2nd in the Division, it’s an exciting time. There’s actual talk of buying at the trade deadline! The playoffs aren’t out of reach! And our pitching….guys, our pitching is really, really good. Most of the time. The staff is book-ended by two of our three All Star selections in Ervin Santana and Brandon Kintzler. Santana has been nothing short of masterful this season, heading into the break with a 10-6 record and a 2.99 ERA. He currently sits 4th in the MLB in ERA, 5th in WAR, tied for 3rd in wins and 4th in walks and hits per innings pitched. He also leads the league in shut outs and complete games.

On the back end of the pitching staff, Kintzler is making his first All Star appearance. Kintzler has come out of nowhere this season. With an ERA of 2.29, his 24 saves is good enough for 2nd in the league, and he currently leads the league in games finished. However, Kintzler is probably the most unlikely closer. He comes into the break with only 24 strikeouts in 39 1/3 innings pitched, which is a testament to the Twins’ stellar defense this season.

Offensive Power

The Twins’ third All-Star, 3rd basemen Miguel Sano, made a splash on Monday at the Home Run Derby contest, placing 2nd to the Yankees’ Aaron Judge. Sano has created 60 runs this season, is 10th in the league in OPS and is 7th in Offensive WAR. He is 7th in homers and 4th in RBI. It seems opposing pitchers dislike facing him as well, as he is tied for 5th in intentional walks. However, he also strikes out. A lot. His 120 so far this season leads the league. But, he’s crossed the plate 55 times so manager Paul Molitor is probably going to let that slide.

Next: Twins Week In Review 7/3-7/9

While the number of All Stars on a roster certainly doesn’t tell the whole story, the Twins have to like where they are right now. Heading for the playoffs, with a consistent roster no less, is not something they have been used to in recent memory. Kintzler, Sano and Santana are key pieces of the puzzle and definitely All Star worthy.