Minnesota Twins: Early Indicators in 2022 Leave Lots of Questions

Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton looks on in the dugout. (Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton looks on in the dugout. (Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports) /

As we approach the end of the second week of the 2022 season, the Minnesota Twins have left us with many more questions than answers. A flurry of free agent and offseason activity as the season approached left some room for optimism, but now that the season is underway, there are early indications that the pulse of the team is erratic.

The biggest unresolved questions remain the top of the rotation’s ability to hang with frontline starters, an unsettled bullpen, and the ability to compete with quality teams. The Minnesota Twins have been up-and-down against their opponents.

Early indicators in 2022 leave a lot of questions for the Minnesota Twins’ season.

We saw a series split with Seattle after the Twins did well against the back of an average Mariners rotation. The superstar Los Angeles Dodgers and Boston Red Sox took care of business against the team, punishing the Twins bullpen in a 4 of the last 5 games.

To start, the lack of a defined closer is a pause for concern. Jhoan Duran has shown his electric stuff early and may be the guy as the season progresses as he figures out MLB hitters. Also, 2 offseason pickups, Jharel Cotton and Dereck Rodriguez were designated for assignment, Caleb Thielbar and Tyler Duffey have been ineffective which leaves questions in the bullpen.

On the offensive side, strikeouts are piling up again at an alarming rate, disabling the team’s ability to play small ball and score runs. The Twins current .187 batting average is the American League’s lowest. 

While they have shown some nice team power, the ability to score runs beyond the long ball has been limited. To make matters worse, Byron Buxton tweaked his knee and is once again dealing with injury. Twins fans are all too familiar with how the team is impacted when he’s not in the lineup.

With the six-man rotation in use (before Sonny Gray was injured) a true top and bottom of the rotation isn’t clearly defined at this point in time. The curse and blessing of the rotation lies in depth of the starters.

Though they don’t have a true superstar, all 6 starters are capable of providing quality innings something the team has proven the first time through the rotation. Even with Gray’s injury, Joe Ryan has provided two quality starts to help out.

While the Minnesota Twins might struggle against the top of other teams’ rotations, I do believe they get the advantage at the bottom. This is where the Twins must pile their wins in order to have a chance at success this season.

Though the Twins struggle in small ball there’s at least eight players in the lineup with potential to hit a home run at any time. In a sign of MLB times, the focus on the long ball remains the blueprint on how to score runs. The Twins epitomize that in their current lineup.

Time will tell which way the Twins season will go. Early questions certainly leave us no answers with the streaky offense and unsettled pitching. I believe we’re going to have to hope for a hot streaks of wins as we face the mediocre teams and scratch out a few extra victories against the quality teams.

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