Are The Minnesota Twins a Sleeper Pick to Make a Run?
Don't look now but the Minnesota Twins just swept the Chicago White Sox, okay well that is not very hard because the Sox are in last place in the American League Central, but still it is very impressive feat for the Twins who haven't swept the Sox since 2010. What is more impressive is that yesterday you saw the bottom third of the Twins lineup homer, and not to mention Justin Morneau hit is first home run since April 28th a few days ago.
The Twins are still six games back of the Detroit Tigers, but the more important thing is that the Twins are three games away from .500 and are only two games back of second place, and they open a three game series against second place Cleveland Indians tonight in Cleveland, and when the Twins leave Ohio they can go from fourth place to second place.
If you look at the American League, there is one thing going for the Twins that no other team can say, which is that they have two American League MVP winners in their lineup (Tigers have two but one is a pitcher, and New York Yankees have two but one is hurt and the other won it as a Seattle Mariner). That said Morneau is nowhere near is MVP form of 2006, or even 2010 when he was a clear front runner for the award in July. Still however the Twins lineup can compete with the Tigers and even some of other elite teams in the American League; but the downside is that the Twins pitching staff is horrendous.
Maybe horrendous is too harsh, given the fact that the pitching rotation this month has actually been decent, and have been able to pitch deeper into games, which as allowed manager Ron Gardenhire to rest his bullpen which is one of the best pens in the game. Even if this new trend of quality starts continue for the Twins; are they legitimate contenders?
The truth is ehhh..... There is absolutely no way the Twins pitchers can even compete with Justin Verlander, and now throw in Max Scherzer; yeah better luck next year Twins... But how about a wild card spot? Heck there are now two wild card spots in the American League now.
Now lets play "hypothetical what if". Lets say in a month the Twins are a few games back of Detroit, and the rotation has stayed mostly healthy and are still throwing quality games; what do the Twins do? Either A -Continue to run out the five guys and hope they can continue to make quality starts? or B -The Twins do something against the grain and trade away one of their prospects for the likes of David Price or Felix Hernandez? Can you imagine how Price would look like in a Twins uniform? Or can you imagine how great Miguel Sano would look batting behind Evan Longoria? I hope that just scared you to death imagining Sano not a Twin. What the Twins should do is just stay put; Terry Ryan who chose not to spend money on top of the line starting pitching last off season because he is waiting for 2014, would not want to waste the future for a run at this year. This season is the bridge to the future, or how like 2001 season was for the Twins when they ran out young players like Torii Hunter, etc. I say; stay put, and bring up some young guys and see what they can do, if the Twins fall out of the race by September, I hope they bring up Sano, and Kyle Gibson; because they should start to get some major league experience, before they are thrown into the opening day roster next season.
The Twins have a deep lineup, and have some young players like Aaron Hicks, and Oswaldo Arcia who are getting quality playing time this year, but I do not see a magical season where the Twins somehow manage to make a postseason run; but I do see this team being competitive throughout the season, and finishing somewhere around .500. Next season is when we can start planning on buying postseason tickets, but for now just keep counting down the days until the Minnesota Vikings season starts.