Minnesota Twins 2017 Season in Review: July

OAKLAND, CA - JULY 29: Eddie Rosario
OAKLAND, CA - JULY 29: Eddie Rosario /

With the season completed, it’s time to look back on the 2017 Minnesota Twins season. We’ll continue our look at 2017 with a look at the month of July.

The Minnesota Twins have completed their season, and it’s time to take a look back at what was an exciting ride for Twins fans!

Puckett’s Pond is doing a series reviewing the 2017 season month by month. Make sure to check out the reviews of April, May, and June. Continue reading for our look at July.

July Overview

In a lot of ways, the Twins were glad to see the month of July come and go this summer. They came into the month 2 games back of the AL Central lead but ended the month 7 games back after going 10-15 on the month, turning in their worst month of the season.

A highlight of the month was a series win against the New York Yankees. A series loss to the Houston Astros was again a low light of the month, much like the end of May. Another similarity to May was the Twins exited July on a losing streak. That losing streak caused the front office to become trade deadline “sellers” as they lost 6 of 7 games to close out July.

Month of Transactions

With the trade deadline coming at the end of July, it is no surprise that it was a busy month for the Twins front office. It all got started when the Twins signed veteran starting pitcher Bartolo Colon on July 7th after he was released by the Atlanta Braves. Colon’s signing turned out to be a solid move he as was able to hold down a spot on the back end of the Twins starting rotation.

July 24th the Twins began their interesting relationship with Jaime Garcia. The Twins acquired Garcia and catcher Anthony Recker in exchange for minor league pitcher Huascar Ynoa. Garcia went on to make one start for the Twins before they flipped him to the New York Yankees for pitchers Zack Littell and Dietrich Enns.

To round out the other transactions, catcher John Ryan Murphy was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks for left-handed reliever Gabriel Moya on July 27th. Offseason addition, Craig Breslow, was released on July 29th. Last, at the trade deadline, the most controversial move now in hindsight, Brandon Kintzler was traded to the Washington Nationals for pitcher Tyler Watson.

All-Star Festivities

For the first time in a while, the Twins were well represented throughout the All-Star festivities. Brandon Kintzler, Ervin Santana, and Miguel Sano all made the American League’s All-Star roster. It would be Sano that would help kick things off during the Home Run Derby.

Sano performed well enough to make it to the final round of the derby only to run into rookie phenom Aaron Judge. Judge would go on to win the Derby but Sano represented the Twins well hitting 32 home runs throughout the event.

During the All-Star game itself, all three players saw action and had an effect on the game. Sano hit a pop fly single that fell between Ryan Zimmerman and Bryce Harper to drive in Jonathan Schoop for the American Leagues first run of the night.

Kintzler came in to pitch the 5th inning and fittingly induced three-straight groundouts for a very good inning of relief. Santana replaced Kintzler to pitch the 6th inning and didn’t pitch quite as well. Santana gave up the only National League run of the night as Cardinals catcher Yadier Molina hit a home run to center field.

Individuals of Note

In an injury-shortened month of 10 games, Byron Buxton really seemed to be turning the corner at the plate in July. Buxton hit .387/.457/.516 and an OPS of .973. Those numbers are a long way from the line of .147/.256/.176 Buxton held to end April. His July performance gave hope to fans that the young center fielder had truly found himself at the plate.

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Eddie Rosario really found a hot streak as he hit .321/.370/.516 with 11 doubles. For good measure, the third member of the outfield trio also had a good month of July as Max Kepler hit .294/.371/.488 adding 9 doubles of his own.

Good pitching performances were a little hard to come by in July, but two relievers turned in good months. Ryan Pressly returned to the big leagues and pitched 11.2 innings with a 3.86 ERA, striking 14 batters out and walking none.

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Another reliever, Matt Belisle, recovered to have a nice month of July. In 12.1 innings pitched Belisle did just what you would hope a veteran backend of the bullpen reliever would do. He pitched himself to an ERA of 0.00 and added to that 13 strikeouts and only 2 walks.

Twins hitter for the month of July: Eddie Rosario
Twins pitcher for the month of July: Matt Belisle