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Win Twins!
by Keith Glab, BaseballEvolution.com
June 28, 2006


Win Twins

The Twinkies have won 17 of their last 19 games and currently possess the second-best home record in baseball.Although they are still nine games in back of the Wild Card leading White Sox, and therefore a longshot to make the playoffs, GM Terry Ryan would currently be the best choice for AL Executive of the Year.No other team has made more beneficial moves than Minnesota this early in the season.

 

Consider the following changes to the rotation since Opening Day:

 

April

W-L

ERA

Current

W-L

ERA

Lohse

2-5

8.87

Liriano

8-1

2.21

Baker

2-5

6.06

Bonser

2-1

4.68

Scott Baker actually had a K/BB ratio of over 5 to 1, and probably deserves a spot in the rotation over Carlos Silva (4-8, 6.43).Silva is actually making about $1.5 million less this year than Lohse, so itís hard to figure out why the Twins have been so patient with him.However, Silva has gone 2-2 with a 4.06 ERA since returning to the rotation in early June, so perhaps Iím nitpicking, and perhaps their patience is paying off.

 

Lineup changes:

April

OBP

SLG

Current

OBP

SLG

Castro

.258

.308

Bartlett

.438

.439

Batista

.303

.388

Kubel

.315

.500

 

Jason Kubel has actually been on the roster since Opening Day, but got just 34 plate appearances in the first two months of the season, and already has over 80 in June.Heís hitting .333 with five homers on the month.

 

Rondell White hasnít played in the past ten days due to shoulder problems.The Twins are expected to release him and his .425 OPS (you read that right) once Shannon Stewart is activated off the DL.

 

You can applaud Josh Byrnes and the Diamondbacks for discarding Russ Ortiz and the $22 Million left on his contract, but viewed in a smaller market context, Ryan has been doing similar things in Minnesota.Lohse, Batista, and White had about $5million left on their combined contracts once they each stopped playing for the Twins.And while the Twins replaced these players with quality and are red hot, the Diamondbacks are struggling as much as any other team in baseball right now.

 

The Twins still have more home games left than away games, so thatís good news as far as their continued winning goes.But their real problem lies in playing in baseballís toughest division.The Twins are 8-18 (.308) against AL Central foes and 33-17 (.660) against everybody else.Unless they return to their winning ways within their division, like the way they were dominating the White Sox from 2001-2004, theyíll probably just finish with 80-some wins and go unnoticed and unheralded.

 

This is too bad, since this team is playing much better than the Aís are right now, and doing so under the same financial constraints.But the Aís get more publicity and play in a weak division, so theyíre the ones that youíre going to read about in September.†††

 

††††




Disagree with something? Got something to add? Wanna bring up something totally new? Keith Glab resides in Chicago, Illinois, and can be reached at keith@baseballevolution.com.




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