Things are going well for the Minnesota Twins right now. They have already built a 3.5 game lead (as of 5/5) in the American League Central and the rest of the division is ranging from underwhelming/mediocre to, well, whatever the Royals are doing.
Some good news is that the pitching staff has been handling their business in ways fans didn’t see last year, and looks to be in a great position for the long haul.
However, there are some things about this team that are a bit concerning. Nothing here is immediately damning, but there are real reasons to have some concern about this Twins team. At the end of the day, the baseball season is long and some of these trends, if uncorrected, could be costly for the team down the road.
Here are three early red flags for the 2023 Minnesota Twins.
The offense is failing to help out stellar starting pitching
On the surface, nothing stands out about the Minnesota Twins offense and that is kind of the problem. They currently rank 18th in fWAR in the league and amongst all teams that currently lead their divisions, they rank last in runs scored and run differential.
While one of the extreme bright spots early in the season has been the stellar performance of the pitching rotation, the squeaky wheel has been the utter lack of run support coming from the offense. For as outstanding as the starters have been, their success is being eroded by poor offense that it’s dragging everything down.
Offensively Minnesota profiles more favorably to a second or third place team in a decent division to a team headed to the playoffs.
A closer look at the Twins' offensive pieces reveals some some depth issues as while they currently have five players with a wRC+ at 110 or higher (Bryon Buxton, Joey Gallo, Ryan Jeffers, Max Kepler, and Jorge Polanco), the rest of the roster does not have anything better than 97 (that is not good).
They don't steal bases, rank in the bottom third of the league in team OBP, and have been pretty reliant on long balls off the bats of Buxton and Gallo who can both be a bit streaky/have issues staying healthy.