Minnesota Twins have a chance to make a statement in Puerto Rico
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins begin a series in Puerto Rico Tuesday with the Cleveland Indians. It is a chance for the Twins to make a statement.
Don’t worry, the Minnesota Twins will play baseball again. Even if the seemingly never-ending April blizzard continues. The Twins will longer need to worry about Minnesota whether because they are on their way to Puerto Rico to take on the Cleveland Indians. It is only a two game series between the Indians and Twins this time around, but it is a chance for the Twins to make a statement even if it is early in the season.
The Twins already made a statement the last time they were able to play a full series as they took a series from the defending World Series champion Houston Astros. This one feels a little more important because the Indians are the team the Twins need to knock off to win the AL Central crown. The challenge will be that the Twins get the Indians best right away.
April 17, 2018: Corey Kluber (1-1, 1.57 ERA) vs Jake Odorizzi (1-0, 2.20 ERA)
April 18, 2018: Carlos Carrasco (0-1, 9.00 ERA) vs Jose Berrios (2-1, 2.18 ERA)
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Kluber may have an even 1-1 record, but that doesn’t mean he has been any less than his normal dominant self. He hasn’t allowed any more than two runs in any of his three starts. He also has gone 8.0, 7.0, and 8.0 innings in those starts. Kluber also holds a 10.6 K/9 and could expose some of the Twins batters easily.
Hopefully, the Twins bats haven’t cooled off over this long layoff of postponed games which filled the weekend. The team will be relying on those bats counteract the Indians pitching. Joe Mauer, the newest member of 2,000 hit club, is slashing .412/.545/.529 and leads the way for the Twins. Brian Dozier and Eduardo Escobar are right behind him off to hot starts of their own.
More importantly, the Twins need their two starters to neutralize the Indians lineup. Berrios and Odorrizi have been the Twins two best starters to this point and have the chance to keep the Indians bats quiet. Even though the Indians lost Carlos Santana and Jay Bruce to free agency and their offensive team numbers are down to start the season. The Twins can’t expect someone like Edwin Encarnacion to slump forever. Along with the rest of this lineup.
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Eddie Rosario and Berrios have the great opportunity to play in their home country in the coming days. They hope not to just play, but to make a statement about the Twins team and its place in the AL Central. Will Berrios continue to be a dominant, ace level pitcher? Can Rosario swing his bat like someone who belongs in the middle of a contending lineup? If those questions are answered yes. The Twins will have certainly made an impressive statement against the Indians when the series is all wrapped up.