The Minnesota Twins must use farm system to stay in contention
The Minnesota Twins stayed put at the trade deadline. Will this mean prospects who lost their seasons in the Minor Leagues will get the call ups they deserve?
As quick as it was, the 2020 MLB Trade Deadline is over, and the Minnesota Twins found themselves as one of several teams contending for postseason play that did not make a trade to improve their roster. Thankfully for the Twins, key AL contenders were among those teams.
The division rival Chicago White Sox, the reigning American League Champion Houston Astros, and the Evil Empire (a.k.a the New York Yankees) all avoided making a single trade, helping the Twins’ argument for staying out of the deadline.
With that being the case, there is heavy speculation among fans and beat writers that teams who made little to no trades at this years’ deadline will be relying on their farm systems and other internal improvements to boost roster spots that have struggled.
For the Minnesota Twins, there is certainly a surplus of Minor League talent hungry for valuable playing time, as they have missed out on having no season scheduled for Minor League Baseball in 2020.
Twins Manager Rocco Baldelli talked about this in an interview with TwinsBaseball.com writer Do-Hyoung Park:
“We believe we have the players here to win and to succeed and to get the job done,” Rocco said. “These five-game stretches, these periods of time, of course, they affect you and they’re not easy to get through, but we have all of the talent, we have the players, we have what we need and our guys are going to be ready to go today when we step out there on the field.”
With the Twins coaching staff and front office willing to work with all the players in their system, this does give hope to fans believing they will see the likes of Royce Lewis, Alex Kirilloff, Jhoan Duran, and Brent Rooker before seasons end.
Over the last road trip, the Twins’ offense struggled and saw almost every single hitter batting averages drop significantly, with Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano as notable exceptions. This is more than enough reason to give a call up to the likes of Lewis, Kirilloff, or even Rooker.
Even if they don’t end up playing every day, their bats could provide some desperately needed offense for the Twins lineup, even if it’s only for a weeks’ time or even less in the remaining 23 games.
Minnesota Twins fans are often concerned about their team acquiring more starting pitching or bullpen at each trade deadline when they remain in contention. This year, it makes sense why they did not rush to trade for a player such as Lance Lynn or Dylan Bundy.
They had Michael Pineda returning to the rotation yesterday, Jake Odorizzi returning later in the season, and two of the most reliable and underrated starters in MLB right now with Randy Dobnak and Kenta Maeda.
The bullpen is a different story. No team fighting for postseason contention has ever had, “just enough” good relievers. The Twins bullpen, as good as they have been, are showing signs of being taxed already. That could easily be attributed to Badelli’s overuse of the opener to give starters off.
Granted, if Duran gets called up before seasons end, he likely will not get a start as long as the main six starters are healthy. That will give the Twins bullpen the reinforcements they need at this time.
If the Minnesota Twins really did miss out on anything important at this trade deadline, it was bullpen help. They could have at least made a minor trade for an additional reliever like they did at the 2015 MLB trade deadline when they acquired Kevin Jepsen from the Tampa Bay Rays.
Even without that deal, the Twins certainly have everything they need to make the postseason. It’s only a matter of time before all the hitters and starters hopefully catch fire, boosted by one of the best minor league systems in baseball.