Last year the Twins had their best season in several years, finishing 83-79 for first-year manager Paul Molitor. Expectations for 2016 were heighten that the team could return to the American League playoffs in a tough-balanced American League Central.
Kansas City not only won the division last year, they captured their first World Series Championship in 30 years. Major League Baseball plays 162 games — the season is a marathon, not a sprint. Last year the Twins started slowly and rallied in May. This year’s team does not have veteran Torii Hunter and his invaluable and incredible leadership and talents in that clubhouse.
For the most part, the Twins have failed to do the little things and they are adding up. The starting pitchers has been riddled with injury and inconsistency. Both starters Kyle Gibson and Irvin Santana are currently on the 15-day disabled list.
Glen Perkins, the Twins All-Star closer, is on the disabled list also. The Twins have been swept by Central Division teams Kansas City, Chicago, and Detroit already, and they are just 1-10 away from Target Field. The 7-18 start has many Twins fans trying to figure out who these guys are. Yes, it’s just early May, and there’s a long way to go. However, the Twins, in a balanced competitive division, are getting way behind.
This week the Twins are headed back out on the road to Houston and Chicago — where they have been getting killed — and need to start turning their season around. In a strong-balanced division home of the World Series Champions, the Twins have got to start fighting a little harder.
With just seven wins so far, it speaks to their struggles. Chris Sale, the Chicago White Sox ace, is 6-0; he’s the first pitcher in MLB to start 6-0 since Hall of Famer Randy Johnson. Veteran third baseman, Trevor Plouffe, is also on the disabled list, and center fielder Byron Buxton was such a disappointment in centerfield with his inability to put the ball in play and striking out, the Twins sent him back to the minor leagues.
For the Twins, it’s been a frustrating combination of things: failing to do the little things consistently, missing a cutoff, not getting a bunt down, and being thrown out on the bases. Or simply not getting a timely hit. It’s no secret the Twins have got to play much better.
Larry Fitzgerald can be heard weekday mornings on KMOJ Radio 89.9 FM at 8:25 am, on WDGY-AM 740 Monday-Friday at 12:17 pm and 4:17 pm, and at www.Gamedaygold.com. He also commentates on sports 7-8 pm on Almanac (TPT channel 2). Follow him on Twitter at FitzBeatSr. Larry welcomes reader responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.Larry-Fitzgerald.com.