Rocco Baldelli points to one positive Twins can takeaway from 4-2 loss to Cleveland

There was a lot of bad baseball played by Minnesota, but Rocco Baldelli saw some things he liked.
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three
Division Series - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game Three / David Berding/GettyImages

We're only six games into the season but Minnesota Twins fans are already feeling fatigued by how much energy it's taking to care about a team that doesn't seem that interested in being as good as it can be.

There are a lot of reasons the Twins are struggling, with some being out of the team's control. Royce Lewis was lost on Opening Day to a right quad strain, an injury that came on the heels of Minnesota placing four relievers on the IL before Spring Training was over.

Other things seem frustratingly within the team's control. On Thursday the Twins struck out 15 times and went 0-for-12 with RISP, including leaving the bases loaded. It would have happened a second time had it not been for a wild pitch that scored a run, but that's not exactly a reason to celebrate.

The loss to Cleveland spoiled the home opener and dropped Minnesota to 3-3 on the season. It was another sluggish performance, but Rocco Baldelli wasn't ready to throw the whole team under the bus.

Rocco Baldelli points to one positive Twins can takeaway from 4-2 loss to Cleveland

After the game Baldelli didn't shy away from calling out the team's struggles at the plate, but he also made sure to point out some positive. Specifically he mentioned how Kody Funderburk and Cole Sands pitched well in their appearances, and generally praised the bullpen for keeping the Twins in the game late.

"It's literally their job to keep us in the game, and that's what they did," Baldelli said. "Everything you could ask for we got from them. Kody really settled down by the end of his outing, I thought he was throwing the ball really well. Cole came in and did a nice job too. That's what our guys need to do."

Both Funderburk and Sands are on the big league roster due to Caleb Thielbar, Justin Topa, and Josh Staumont all ending up on IL before Opening Day. They were likely to get time in the bullpen at some point this season but those setbacks sped up their timelines, and they delivered when called upon.

It could be that the Twins continue to rely on those two for the time being. Thielbar is reportedly going to face live action this weekend before the team decides on a rehab assignment, but Derek Falvey noted that Jhoan Duran isn't going to be back anytime soon. There's hope Justin Topa can return before too long, but the bullpen is likely going to have to make due with what it has for now.

So far the results have been great. Of all the team's struggles the bullpen is one of the bright spots on the roster, with the unit combining for a 1.27 ERA heading into Thursday's game. It wasn't the fault of the relievers that the Twins lost another close game, which is a little nugget of hope fans can hang onto until whatever turbulence the team is hitting begins to settle.

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