It’s Sunday again Minnesota Twins fans, and the Twins remain at the top of the standings in the AL Central after a very strong week of play.
Each Sunday, I’ll go over the week that was for the Minnesota Twins, the AL Central, and the MLB news that matters in Minnesota, and there was a lot of news in a league constantly fighting the challenges of COVID-19.
The Twins mowed down opposing lineups behind mostly dominant starts and a lockdown bullpen that allowed just six runs in five games. The Twins lineup hasn’t put up runs like the should, but that’ll be okay because, as we all know, they will come around. We break down everything here.
Minnesota Twins Dominant Week 2: Debuts, Notes, and More.
- How about that Twins starting pitching? Each of the Twins who got starts this week did at least a solid job (Berrios included) and some (hello Kenta Maeda!) were downright dominant. Here’s a look at their stat lines:
- You couldn’t ask for anything more out of Hill, Dobnak, and Maeda. Fifteen shutout innings, just six hits allowed, and twelve strikeouts. Bailey was very good for being Homer Bailey, and Berrios came just an inning short of a quality start, so he’s warming up. They still need a true ace, but this is a great start for this rotation.
- Josh Donaldson, who has a history of very similar injuries, is day-to-day with calf tightness. He’s not on the injured reserve, so that’s a positive, but it’s discouraging that the $92 Million man is the first one hurt. Hopefully he comes back stronger than before.
- Miguel Sano finally got going yesterday with two homers in three at bats, raising his batting average 91 points. It was only a matter of time before Sano got his feet under him and I’m glad to see that he did.
- The last note specifically about the Twins: this bullpen is looking historically good. Outside of Zack Littell (who is now on the 10-Day IL, which should sort him out) and Devin Smeltzer, the rest of the bullpen has pitched 27 innings and given up just 2 runs. This kind of dominance needs recognition.
Around the AL Central: Taking a Look at the Minnesota Twins Rivals
- Cleveland Indians (5-4): We saw most of the games the Indians played this week, and I’ve got two takeaways: Shane Bieber is special, but the lineup is just not. The Indians have only scored 22 runs over 9 games (2.44 runs per game (RPG)), and that just won’t be enough to keep up with the Twins. Minnesota may absolutely run away with this division.
- Chicago White Sox (4-4): The White Sox are the polar opposites of the Indians. That lineup does score a decent amount (41 runs over 8 games, 5.125 RPG), but their pitchers have allowed 43 runs. They did play the Twins so they’ve settled down since, but the White Sox don’t look like a team built to compete.
- Kansas City Royals (3-6): The Royals’ numbers on offense (40 runs over 9 games, 4.444 RPG) and pitching numbers (39 runs, 4.333) are almost identical. The offense is okay, and Brady Singer and the bullpen have been very solid, but the other four Royals’ starters are really struggling to pull their weight (all have ERAs of 4.50+).
- Detroit Tigers (5-3): The Tigers are a surprise team, as no one saw them starting this well. They lead the AL in home runs, but virtually all of their batting stats are bad and only two starters have an ERA south of 6.00. This will fall apart quickly.
Around the MLB: Looking at important Minnesota Twins-related news around the league.
- The Miami Marlins are beginning to recover after the COVID-19 outbreak shut down both their games and games for the Phillies. The players broke rules by going out and partying and their mistake came very close to ending the season. This isn’t something that can happen again.
- Eduardo Rodrgiuez of the Red Sox became the first major player to opt out after developing a heart condition from his bout with COVID-19. This is very bad news for baseball going forward, and if more incidents like this happen, we could be looking at a season cut short.
- Former Minnesota Twins pitcher Francisco Liriano opted out of the season earlier today as he decided the health risks weren’t worth it. As a free agent, he had a couple offers on the table, but decided against returning.