Notes, thoughts, tidbits, and more for the Minnesota Twins after 22 games played in the young, COVID-19 shortened 2020 season.
An abbreviated schedule has the Minnesota Twins hastily 33% complete just over 20 games in. The team began the year with a hot start, putting them in good position, but then a sputtering ca, indicated some things must improve, highlighted by the starting rotation.
In a non-pandemic season the Twins would be at the equivalent of 54-55 games, which is considered a benchmark of sorts in a teams success. The usual saying goes you can’t win a pennant in June, but you can lose one. Enter the equivalent COVID season of 2020 after 20 games.
Minnesota currently stands at a 14-8 record which puts them atop the division in very good position. The offense is putting up power numbers in streaky chunks, which has afforded them some grace on the pitching side of things. The bullpen has been rock solid for the most part.
They desperately need to firm up the starting rotation which has been propped up by exceptional bullpen outings. Kenta Maeda has been the stable starter he was signed to be. Randy Dobnak has thankfully been performing lights out as of late, currently leading the American League in E.R.A. You have to ride his hot hand, he makes me slightly nervous for some reason though.
On paper there’s reason for optimism that the rest of the starters pitchers will come around. Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios are the proven #1 and 2 starters. Berrios is hopefully rounding into form after 4 shaky starts. Odorizzi is ideally working back from general soreness from an early IL stint and had a very encouraging 2nd start. If these 2 shape up that would make the Twins very hard to catch.
Rich Hill had an encouraging 1st start minus his 40 year old body showed some signs of soreness, which has landed him on IL for a stint. Homer Bailey is in an identical situation. Both should be eyeing returns some time next week. I would be fine if both had to go to a once every 12-14 day type of start to get recovery time (enter roster creativity).
Michael Pineda will be back in just over 2 weeks from his drug suspension. If these 3 can hold down the #5 starter slot the 2nd half of the season that would be very formidable. It offers depth as more injuries or situations come about.
5 Minnesota Twins Tidbits
- Byron Buxton has been on fire! I really like him as a player
- 6 of Miguel Sano’s 8 hits are for extra bases, he’s an enigma….think if he gets hot
- The magic win number for an assured play-off berth is projecting at 34, putting the Twins slightly ahead of pace. All >8 win teams are in trouble
- Here’s a play-off explanation if you’re curious
- Jorge Alcala and his current 0.80 WHIP have been a nice look from the bullpen, love his arm