Will the Minnesota Twins Make a Comeback and Win the Division This Year?
The first month and a half of the Twins season was less than stellar, going 10-26 through the first month and a half of the season. Since then, the team has found a groove of sorts. In the last month, the team has gone 15-9 and the team is starting to feel better about the way they are playing.
Currently the team is chipping away at the massive hole in the division, standing 8.5 games behind the AL Central leading White Sox. Mathematically speaking, the Twins aren't out of the race yet. The team has won their last 4 series in a row and is looking for a fifth straight against the Phillies while they're in town this week. The emergence of Scott Diamond and reasonably successful outings from much of the rest of the pitching staff gives some hope to the team as they continue to whittle away at their deficit within the division.
On the flipside, the offense has been inconsistent, powering a big win in one game and coming up incredibly short the next. The team ranks in the bottom half of most offensive categories at the moment; and while there are flashes of brilliance, there are also plenty of frustrating moments too. While pitching from Scott Diamond has been largely great, Francisco Liriano and Carl Pavano have struggled, leaving a big hole in the starting pitcher rotation.
The Twins have long been known for serviceable pitching and strong fundamental defense as methods to win games - referred to by many as the "Twins Way" of playing baseball. The "Twins Way" has been absent from much of their play last season and into this season, leading to the unimpressive performance. If the Twins hope to contend this year, improvements need to be made to the starting pitching. While I'm not completely sold on the team being a true contender this season, making a move for a proven younger pitcher would give fans something to watch this season and shore up plans to improve next season.
To answer the question of whether or not Minnesota will contend for the division title this season: I say no. There is a legitimate chance the team will continue to show promise this season, but I see a more likely end to the season at 3rd place in the AL Central being a landing spot for the 2012 Twins.