Minnesota Twins 3 Up, 3 Down: Jose Berrios’ struggles a concern for Twins down the stretch
By Chris Schad
At this time last week, a certain Puckett’s Pond author was looking for ways to replace Jake Cave in the lineup. With his performance in the series against the Tigers last week, he may have found a way to redeem himself.
Cave was outstanding against Detroit, smashing two home runs on Friday night and adding a third on Saturday. If that wasn’t enough, Cave made a leaping catch in left field as a defensive replacement on Sunday to wrap up his solid week.
Since being recalled for the third time this season on Aug. 3, Cave has raked at the plate hitting .452/.511/.786 with three home runs and six RBI in 12 games. That performance won’t make anyone forget about Byron Buxton, but if Cave can add value as a fourth outfielder, it would be huge once the Twins’ outfield is completely healthy.
Martin Perez‘s season has been one with several ups and downs, but with a couple of starts, it seems like he’s turning it around. Dating back to his start against the Milwaukee Brewers on Aug. 13, Perez has allowed just four earned runs in his past 17 innings and has relied less on his cutter that opposing hitters have been sitting on.
The results have been solid and with a six-inning performance against Detroit on Sunday, it was just the second quality start for the Twins this month. Nobody is expecting Perez to suddenly become an ace-like pitcher he was in April and early May, but if he can figure some things out, it would be a huge boost for a starting staff that needs someone to step up.
It seems like a long time ago when people were trying to figure out what to do with Miguel Sano, but it’s becoming clear that he is a key force in the Twins’ lineup.
A year ago, Sano hit just 13 bombs in 71 games, but has rebounded significantly with 26 home runs in 80 games in 2019. The latest example of his impact came this past weekend, when he crushed a pair of home runs on Friday night and a huge three-run homer that gave the Twins the lead on Saturday night.
There still may be a crowd that believes that trading Sano for a starting pitcher is the right move (and it could happen this offseason), but if he keeps hitting like he has, there is no reason to get rid of a guy that can make this kind of impact.