Minnesota Twins: 4 Things to Look Forward to the Rest of 2021
By Billy Porter
Well Minnesota Twins fans, this season kind of hurts. Not like a Mitch Garver hurt, but just an emotional let down hurt. The summer of 2021 was forecasted to be a fun ride of seeing a playoff contender mow down opponents for a potential World Series run. That hasn’t happened.
Instead, a series of let downs and unfortunate events leave the Twins stuck in MLB purgatory. The team isn’t enough of a lost cause to justify blowing up the core, but it’s looking more and more like this is a lost season. How do we still enjoy the season at this point? Let’s break down a few things left to look forward to this season.
Reason to Keep Watching the Minnesota Twins No. 1: A potentially lively trade deadline
With the way the team has been injured and played this year, it’s highly likely the Twins will begin to shop any assets that can be moved. This likely starts with players on a one year deal, like Nelson Cruz, Michael Pineda, Andrelton Simmons, Hansel Robles, and J.A. Happ.
Cruz hasn’t been his stellar self lately, as his stats have declined from last year, and J.A. Happ has been awful, limiting their value, but there’s definitely teams that would take Simmons, Robles, or Pineda as depth pieces for a title run. They likely wouldn’t get great prospects for any of them, but a few lottery ticket prospects would be a solid boost.
There’s even the possibly that the team does decide to move on from players with a couple of years left, with Josh Donaldson, Max Kepler, Jose Berrios, and Byron Buxton all potential options for a more full scale rebuild. There’s always some fun intrigue to see the value these players could bring.
Reason to Keep Watching the Minnesota Twins No. 2: Prospect Development
Alex Kirilloff, Trevor Larnach, Ryan Jeffers, and Nick Gordon are all being given a legitimate shot to see if their talents are MLB material, especially with injuries everywhere. All have shown flashes of being future Twin mainstays, and it’s good to see what the team’s future could look like.
Brent Rooker, Bailey Ober, Devin Smeltzer, and more all will get more opportunities to prove what they’ve got. The Twins are a relatively older team, with a lot of their key contributors 28 and older. It’s always fun to see the Twins’ bright future get their legs under them.
Reason to Keep Watching the Minnesota Twins No. 3: A potential Wild Card Run
The Minnesota Twins aren’t out yet. The team is still just nine games out of a Wild Card spot. Teams have made more improbable runs, and the Twins are counting on some key returns. If Kenta Maeda returns as a healthy ace, Buxton and Garver pick up on their hot streaks, and Luis Arraez lights the offense on fire again, they could reel off some wins.
It’s still entirely possible that the Twins claw their way back into some sort of wild card contention as August rolls around. Everything that can go wrong has in the 1st half of the season, making a division title highly unlikely. With that being said, the if the team can get healthy, pitch and hit a little better, a run at Wild Card contention would be fun to watch.
Reason to Keep Watching the Minnesota Twins No. 4: Regardless of Anything Else, It’s still Minnesota Twins Baseball
If the season’s trends continue and the Twins keep coming up short, the white flag will wave soon. That doesn’t mean the Twins will start tanking. Even if the team begins to trade away players, the individual players remaining will continue to play hard, as it’s their livelihood and pride at stake. It’s always fun at Target Field, so we might just have to enjoy the atmosphere of the game and cheer on our beloved Twins no matter the result.