Minnesota Twins: With the season circling the drain, what comes next?

Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli celebrates their win over the Kansas City Royals. (Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports)
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli celebrates their win over the Kansas City Royals. (Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Minnesota Twins
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli walks to the dugout. (Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports) /

Minnesota Twins End of Season Checklist Item No. 1: Make it Clear to Everyone (Fans, Coaches, Front Office) that 2023 is Playoff Success or Bust.

I have long been a supporter of Rocco Baldelli and this front office. Both have lead this team to a lot of success in 2019 and 2020 while making some moves I’ve really liked, but it’s truly time to either put up results or be ousted.

Paul Molitor poorly managed his squad in 2018 and deserved to be let go, and while Rocco has earned two division titles, and has been one of the winningest managers in team history, he’s had a really tough year in 2022.

His front office hasn’t provided him with a great staff, but his lineup micromanagement hasn’t resulted in wins and his bullpen usage hasn’t resulted in the same success the Rays have had. He’s now been manager for four years, and without a playoff win to his name, 2023 needs to be the make or break season for Baldelli.

It’s the same for the front office. Derek Falvine and Thad Levine have done a very solid job of developing some good offensive talent, but they were hired to develop pitching and thus far we haven’t really seen it Josh Winder, Bailey Ober, and Louie Varland are the best starters they’ve produced, and none of them are even No. 3 starters at this point. That’s not enough.

They’ve made a few good moves like signing Carlos Correa and trading for Kenta Maeda, but most of their free agency moves and trade deadline moves have been either mediocre or downright disasters. Both the front office and manager will get a break with the injury issues, but this is the last break they should get.

Ownership needs to make it clear ahead of the offseason that 2023 is it. If the Twins don’t win at least a playoff series and look like a real contender, both Falvine and Rocco need to go. With so many pieces, something needs to happen.

I understand it’s hard to sign big name free agents, but after adding Josh Donaldson and Correa, they’ve proved they can. Their seats should be scorching next year, and it they don’t win come playoff time, it’s time to clean house.