What an absolutely abysmal start to the year for the Minnesota Twins. The pessimistic article of my preseason prognostication has turned me into a prophet (some alliteration for you). Just about every area of concern has been solidified. Let’s review my Porterdamus (get it?) predictions in agonizing detail, breaking them down by how dangerous the problem is.
Minnesota Twins Issue No. 1: Bullpen
By far the biggest regression and backslide from the 2020 season is the bullpens inability to close out games. The Twins bullpen has an alarmingly disturbing 1-13 record this season after putting together an acceptable 14-12 mark over the 60 game season. There’s no easy way to say it, but the downfalls of the Twins bullpen have been the main reason the season has been awful thus far,
I’m not going to get into individual player bashing (which no reliever on the roster would be safe from), but the pitchers who were supposed to be stalwarts have been duds. The free agents signings and waiver claims have been disappointing at best.
It’s beyond frustrating to watch day in and day out, especially considering that Rocco Baldelli loves his bullpen. Baldelli hasn’t had a good year, but it’s hard to be successful when your usually trustworthy bullpen is a dumpster fire.
Minnesota Twins Issue No. 2: A Streaky Offense
When 55% of your line up is hitting .240 or less it’s hard to put consistent runs. Miguel Sano, Max Kepler and Mitch Garver are desperately needed to produce power numbers. Up to this point, all 3 have been consistently inconsistent other than an occasional home run.
The Twins inability (or refusal) to play small has haunted them. In extra inning games they are an astonishing 0-7, and in one-run games they’re a disappointing 4-6. The bomba or bust mentality that served the team well in 2019 has not been kind to the Twins in 2021.
It’s one thing if the power is on, and the big guns are mashing homers, batting average and on-base percentage wouldn’t be as big of an issue. Until the power comes back (and probably when it does as well), small ball should be encouraged.
Minnesota Twins Issue No. 3: Injuries
First it was Josh Donaldson. Then Andrelton Simmons went down. Max Kepler, Kyle Garlick, and Caleb Thielbar all went down. Luis Arraez missed time. Byron Buxton and Alex Kiriloff got hurt and still haven’t returned. The Twins’ depth problems at key positions were exposed.
All teams have injuries, but the Twins’ supposedly solid bench has proved unreliable. With numerous players either proving unusable or unavailable due to injury, it’s been an extremely frustrating April and May for the Minnesota Twins to this point.
It does appear the offense is showing some signs of life (Jorge Polanco, we missed you). Unfortunately, the proof is in the pudding as the saying goes. Until the team can prove it on the field, we’ll be yelling into out TV screens as we suffer through loss after loss of what was supposed to be a successful season.