Time To Throw In The Towel?
It is still only July, but August is right around the corner and the Minnesota Twins keep losing more games then they are winning. Yesterday we saw Twins closer, Glen Perkins blow his second save since the All-Star break. Before the break, Perkins was a perfect 28-for-28 in save chances.
Let's take a peak at the standings. The Twins come into today's (Sunday) game sitting at
52-45, hey they are still seven games over .500 and lets face it who would have thought that the Twins would be in contention around the trade deadline? Not me. The Twins are six-and-a-half games back of the red hot Kansas City Royals, and now the Royals have a new "ace" pitcher in Johnny Cueto (Royals just completed a trade with the Cincinnati Reds today). It would take a miracle for the Twins to catch and pass the Royals.
Wild Card? Hey anything can happen, and with now, two wild card spots up for grabs the opportunity is there for the taking. The Twins currently are the second best non-division leader, which means they have the second wild card spot in hand. Currently the Twins are two games back from both Los Angeles Angles and the Houston Astros, who are both tied for the division lead out West. The Astros are in the same boat as the Twins who have exceeded expectations and are about two years ahead of their rebuilding plan. I expect the Astros to slowly fade away from contention.
Toronto Blue Jays, Tampa Bay Rays, Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, Texas Rangers and even the Chicago White Sox are eight games or less behind the Twins. The Tigers are in a position where they need to either rebuild or go all in, the Rays are always dangerous, the O-birds are a good team, and the Blue Jays and Rangers are a question mark.
With that in mind their is a chance that the Twins can clinch a wild card spot, but they need to do some things in order to achieve that. Upgrading their bullpen needs to be number one, and I do not mean bringing in a new closer, because Perkins is just going through a rough patch, but in order to go from the sixth inning to the ninth has been a nightmare for the Twins. Good middle relievers are hard to find, just like finding a good used car, and when you do find it you need to pay an arm and a leg just like at a dealership. I would be against trading away any of our up and coming prospects, because we have waited four long years, and hearing these names to just throw them away for a nice rental piece.
Second, we could use another bat like Troy Tulowitzki, however that might just be a pipe-dream. Tulo is under contract for a couple more years and makes a lot of money; however didn't the Twins sell us on the idea for Target Field that it would bring in more high price talent? Tulo would stabilize the middle of the infield and brings with him a star quality that the Twins could use in their lineup.
This season has been a present surprise. The Twins were suppose to be better this season, not contention good but be good enough to not flirt with losing 100 games in a season, however these Twins have helped ease the pain of watching the Minnesota Wild get shellacked by the Chicago Blackhawks in the playoffs, and have helped speed up the time to get us close to watching the Minnesota Vikings.
2016, that was the year that Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano would lead the Twins back to the postseason; but now those two are on a team that has surprised everyone and have the Twins buying not selling at the trade deadline. It is not time to throw in the towel quite yet because there are still over 60 games left to play, but with more loses mounting and not enough wins to keep up with the Royals, the time to throw in the towel might soon be upon us.
This has been a nice surprise, Paul Molitor has done wonders with managing this team. It has been a fun summer to watch this team, and hopefully they keep playing meaningful games late into September. This team has a lot of same characteristics of that 2001 Minnesota Twins who were in contention all season but fell just short. Remember what happened after that 2001 season? I will refresh your memory....five division titles in nine years, but the old coaching staff couldn't get that monkey off of their back and get past those darn Yankees in the postseason. I am not saying that after this season the Twins will start rattling off division titles, but this team is pointing upward, not downward. Only time will tell if this team will become like the 2000 Twins or if this season is just a blimp on the radar and come next season will fall back into the cellar of the American League.