It’s safe to say the Minnesota Twins did not have the first half they wanted.
At one point this year, after a hot start to the season, the Twins were outscoring their opponents 62-37 during a stretch where the team looked like it might runaway with a bad AL Central. Things unfortunately normalized not long after and it’s been an absolute sludge through most of the season for the offense.
What makes the struggles so frustrating is we’ve seen what this team can look like when things are firing on all cylinders. For the first time in what feels like forever, the pitching staff is not an issue and is probably the strongest unit in the clubhouse.
Minnesota’s lack of offense, though, makes them one-dimensional and has created situations where the run support results in agonizing losses or wins like this weekend where every ounce of effort is needed to beat the worst team in the league.
Despite this, there’s hope that the Twins can turn things around in the second half of the season. Derek Falvey has shied away from making a splash at the trade deadline, noting that the players Minnesota will get back from the IL or who are poised for a second half turnaround are better than what the team can acquire.
It’s true that if guys like Byron Buxton and Carlos Correa consistenly show up at the plate the Twins are going to be one of the best teams in the American League over the next three months. The question is whether or not that will happen.
Will the Twins ‘surge’ into MLB Playoffs during the second half?
In a piece looking at six teams poised for a big second half, the Twins are among the teams Bleacher Report thinks will ‘surge’ into the playoffs.
While it’s nice to hear, there’s a bit of backhandedness to the compliment. Most of the reasoning in built around the idea that Minnesota has an underperforming offense and is the best of the worst in the AL Central.
The backhanded compliment is warranted, as the there’s no reason the Twins shouldn’t be pulling away in the Central like a bank heist getaway car. The closest competition is Cleveland, hardly an immmovable object in the push for a division title.
While there are some fans who are ready to blow it up and sell at the deadline, the Twins could be a few trades away from securing a lineup that can not only win the division but truly compete in October.
The starting rotation is fantastic and feel like it’s built to win at least one series in the postseason, and the offense still has time to wake up and add injured talent back into the lineup. Any trade that happens will likely bolster the bullpen, a move that has essentially been delayed from being done in the spring.
All of this is to say, the Twins should surge in the second half if they play up to the level of talent they have. That’s been what has made the firs half so frustrating, though, as Minnesota has underperformed to a point of utter embarrassment and grinding to a series sweep against the worst team in baseball is not exactly inspiring much hope that things will magically change.