It’s a little too early to make sweeping predictions as we enter the deepest of freezes in the Minnesota winter tundra, but this winter feels even more frigid with the current MLB lockout. Right now, the fires aren’t even burning for the MLB hot stoves to get warm with the rumors. Coincidentally, my Minnesota Twins optimism temperature gauge is running a little lower for the 2022 season.
As we look ahead, we only know there’s a certainty in the unknown. The starting rotation is a complete guessing at present. The biggest pre-lockout move was a wing and prayer signing of Dylan Bundy. Without starting pitching a team really has no rudder, meaning the Twins are currently rudderless.
Former Minnesota Twins manager Tom Kelly used to use a famous analogy for a season: You’re going to win 60 and lose 60, it’s what you do with the other 42 that matters. I see this as a prophecy for the 2022 Twins.
With no rudder, a win total of 70 for the Minnesota Twins seems to be a fairly reasonable starting point at season’s open. There’s just too many mysteries to unravel to go much higher than that. With 3 very tentative starters in Joe Ryan, Bailey Ober and Dylan Bundy projecting out to to a combined 16W-18L for the year, optimism is the best they bring to the table. All 3 have shown signs of capability, but are unproven.
I have to believe with the solid lineup the Twins have, coupled with an improved bullpen, they’re not a 100 loss team. With the rotation so far up in the air I just can’t see a 90 win season either. That leaves them somewhere in the middle. Without a true 1-2 in the top of the rotation, I drop them at around the 70 win range.
Could they jump up into the 80s win range? Perhaps if the young arms progress, the sluggers slug and they stay healthy. Is a 100 losses possible, certainly with the state of the starting pitching, growing pains could be painful, and repeats of 2021 losing streaks could bring deja vu all over again.
As a whole, the 2022 season is shaping up to be a rebuilding year of sorts. There’s no sugar plum fairies or Christmas wishes that can really turn our fortunes around. Will some young arms develop through the Twins way (sarcasm intended))? Will they trade away some veterans for some young talent? All things to look forward to when, perhaps if, the season gets going.
What are your thoughts? Let me know on Twitter at @portsonsports!