It’s a Cruel, Cruel Summer

Things are not shaping up how your Minnesota Twins would have liked. They surprised everyone last season by finishing 85-77 despite another postseason loss to the Yankees. They had what seemed to be a great young core of Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and Jose Berrios that were trending in the right direction and there was plenty of optimism for the 2018 season.

They also were able to add some veterans like Lance Lynn, Fernando Rodney and Logan Morrison that were thought to be pieces that would help them get over the hump to 90 wins. As of June 28, basically halfway through the season, the Twins find themselves at 34-42, 8.5 games back of the Cleveland Indians, and wondering where it all went wrong.

There are plenty of people to blame for the lackluster season. Actually, virtually everyone on the team (and at Single A) is to blame for this boring, cruel summer.

First, there is only one player batting over .300… and it isn’t like there is a pile of people batting just under .300 either. Here are some averages of our everyday starters: Joe Mauer – .256, Brian Dozier –  .221, Max Kepler – .216, Logan Morrison – .189. Look out defenses – 1 out of every 5 times we will make you pay!

This doesn’t even include Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton, who with each passing day are looking more and more like failed “top” prospects. Sano and Buxton were batting .203 and .156 respectfully (or if I am being honest, not very respectfully) for the Twins in their limited time at the major league level. Buxton has a decent excuse, as he can’t seem to shake off a toe injury after being rushed back too soon.

Sano, however, was sent down to the Single A in Fort Myers to hopefully rediscover his swing. A combination of a lack of confidence, a historically bad strikeout rate, and weight concerns have caused the once promising center piece and former All-Star to look like a shell of himself.

How’s Ervin Santana pitching this year by the way?

Another problem for the Twins is that they don’t have many enticing tradable assets. Dozier is playing out the final year of his contract, so any team who trades for him knows that he might only be a rental. Plus, the market isn’t hot for a “home run hitting” rental with a .221 average and only 11 home runs. They could maybe try to trade Fernando Rodney to a contender who is a closer short, as he has started to find a groove as of late, but that won’t garner much in return.

There haven’t been many bright spots this season. The surprise of the year is Eddie Rosario, who leads the team in batting average, home runs, RBI’s, hits, and virtually every batting category. Eduardo Escobar also has been great, as he is batting .288 and leads the MLB with 33 doubles. Lastly, Jose Berrios and good ole Kyle Gibson have been respectable starters.

At the start of the season, if Kyle Gibson were one of the only bright spots for the Minnesota Twins, I would have assumed that it was a cruel joke. Unfortunately for fans of the Twins, the cruel joke is on us.

As always, feel free to send me an email at jwandersee@heraldjournal.com any time during the week if you have a topic, opinion, observation, or snide remark for me.

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