Minnesota Twins: Mid-Season Report Card
Team: Minnesota Twins
Record: 39-53 (12 GB)
Biggest Surprise of 1st Half: I don’t think this is even debatable at this point. Glen Perkins has easily been the Twins biggest surprise as the teams closer this season and there have already been plenty of talks that teams will be interested in Perkins come the trade deadline. The first time all-star is currently 1-0, has saved 21/23 games, an ERA of 1.87 ERA, and has only allowed 2 home runs. Truly dominant for a guy who is in his first full season as a closer. Perkins used to be a starter for the Twins and was never very effective and has truly turned around his career since becoming a reliever and it has finally paid off for him.
Biggest Disappointment of 1st Half: When the Twins acquired Vance Worley, they were hoping to get the Worley of 2011, who was 11-3 with a 3.01 ERA in 21 starts for the Philadelphia Phillies. You had to figure pitching in cavernous Target Field would benefit Worley but it actually had the total opposite effect on him. Worley, before his demotion to AAA was 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA. The amazing stat about Worley is he pitched 48.2 innings and allowed a whopping 82 hits to give him a 1.99 WHIP. Atrocious numbers for the guy who opened as the Twins “ace”. Another disappointment would probably be the bat of center fielder Aaron Hicks but it I will give him a break considering it is his first season in the MLB and brings gold glove calibre defense in the monster ballpark that is Target Field.
Team MVP: I am going to do a dual team MVP here simply because I love both Glen Perkins and catcher Joe Mauer. Both of these men contribute their fare share to the lowly Twins and deserve the honor. Mauer and Perkins are both going to New York for the all-star game. Joe Mauer does not have the same power he used to have but his bat has not diminished one bit. Mauer is batting .321 with 8 home runs and 32 RBI. Mauer does not catch as often as he used to due to injuries and in order to prolong the career of Mauer, the Twins are beginning to use him a lot more often as the designated hitter or 1st basemen. Perkins is my other team MVP and for the exact same reasons explained in the biggest surprise category. Justin Morneau is always a deserving team MVP candidate but I could not do a trio of team MVP’s. Mauer and Perkins have had outstanding seasons.
Prospect Ready to Make an Impact: Kyle Gibson who is making his first ever start at Yankee Stadium is ready to make an impact but Twins fans should not get impatient with him. He has made 3 starts thus far for the Twins and has pitched poorly in one game. He got roughed up for 8 earned runs against the New York Yankees back on July 4th. Gibson has a great fastball and a changeup that sinks on hitters. He truly has the repetoire and the makings of a pitcher who will be good for years to come.
Contender of Pretender: Seeing as the Twins are still rebuilding, they are most definitely pretenders. They have some nice pieces like Hicks, Gibson, Morneau, Mauer, Perkins, Trevor Plouffe, and Scott Diamond. However, the general lack of talent at other key positions, especially in the rotation and bullpen, its hard for the Twins to do much damage. They don’t hit a lot of home runs due to how big Target Field is and their rotation is led by Kevin Correia, which never is a good thing, despite pitching decently this season.
Overall Team Analysis: The Twins would probably be best to move some of their veteran pieces that still have lots of value. Justin Morneau leads that list of guys who could garner a nice return. They may even want to consider moving Glen Perkins but Terry Ryan seems reluctant to let go of his all-star closer and for good reason. The Twins should be excited for the future in guys such as Miguel Sano, Byron Buxton and Alex Meyer. However, those pieces are still a few years away. There will be more painful years to come for Twins fans but there are brighter days ahead for this franchise.