Baseball is a marathon, not a sprint. You’re judged by how you do over 162 games, not 94. The Twins have truly struggled to this point despite winning nine of 11 at home going into the All-Star break hot. They were just 1-8 the week before coming home after a brutal road trip. They are just 15-28 away from Target Field, so they may have saved their season.
However, their best-laid plans have blown up in their face to this point. Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano, the team’s future stars, are both in the minor leagues struggling to regain form. They were sent down over a month ago for failure to produce.
Joe Mauer, in the last year of his huge $23 million a year contract, missed over a month and 29 games with a concussion. When he has played, he’s hitting just .273 with 66 hits, two home runs and 29 RBIs.
Ervin Santana has not pitched yet this season. It’s a mystery why he’s still on the disabled list from off-season surgery.
Cleveland has the largest Division lead in baseball over the Twins by seven and a half games. Boston (68-30), New York (62-33), Houston (64-35), Seattle (58-39), and Oakland (55-42) are all way ahead of the Twins. Remember, there are five American League playoff spots for three Division winners and two best-record Wild Card spots.
The question is, are the Twins realistically buyers or sellers with 68 games left. Star second baseman Brian Dozier has been great with the Twins, hitting 128 home runs over the last four years. He has struggled most of this season, however, hitting just 230 with 16 home runs and 48 RBIs.
Dozier is in the last year of his current contract. He’s gotten hot lately, hitting .375 with four homers and 12 RBIs in the last seven games. He usually gets hot the last quarter of the season.
The Twins have just one All-Star starter, Jose Berrios, who is 9-7 with a 3.68 ERA and 127 strikeouts in 127.1 innings pitched, which is outstanding.
Eddie Rosario was snubbed by the All-Star voters. The left fielder has been sensational, hitting .311, 19 home runs and 60 RBIs. With 119 hits, he leads the team in all those categories.
Eduardo Escabar, in the absence of Sano at third, has been brilliant, hitting .271 with 14 home runs. He leads the league with 35 doubles and has 57 RBIs.
Manager Paul Molitor has done a good job in view of all that has gone wrong so far with players not producing.
It’s been said before that it’s not how you start, it’s how you finish. For the Twins to make the playoffs, catching Cleveland or catching the teams ahead of them for a Wild Card spot would be remote. Who knows, the Twins might have to finish 45-23 in their last 68 games, going 89-73. Now, that might do it, or winning 90 games.
Seriously, my point is that they are in a deep hole. They have work to do, but right now, at the All-Star break, are they buyers or sellers?
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