While I would love for them to keep up the pace and have a 112-win season, I do not think that is necessarily in the cards. What this hot start does do however is get the Twins in good shape going forward, something that has not happened in recent years. It's very satisfying to see the squad get out to a hot start and I hope avoid a scenario where they have to play .650-plus ball in August and September like in 2006, '08 and '09.
Let's check out some stats and see where several players are at.
Steady Eddie's (named after former Twins' closer Eddie Guardado, these players are playing as expected night in, night out.)
Joe Mauer- "The Golden Child" is off to a stupendous start. What jumps out at me is the fact that he is batting .378 and I do not have this sense that he is going to slow down. I'm sure he will if only because his .473 on-base percentage is obscene. Litterally obscene. I don't think parents should show kids a stat like that. "Mommy, Mommy I can't unsee that! .473!?" What is odd though is he has ten RBI's, but only one home run. If you put a gun to my head I would say he will hit closer to 15 home runs than around 30 again, but if that is the case he will not have so many ribbies. I think we shall get to a point where the ball starts carrying out of "The Store" and some of that batting average gets sacrificed.
Michael Cuddyer- This guy has it made. He has had so many opportunities with runners in scoring position and has delivered to the tune of ten RBI's so far. If healthy he will only continue to reap the benefits of an outstanding top of the order.
Justin Morneau- Had a terrible Spring, but is right there with two homers and eight RBI's early this season. Batting .319 and drawing plenty of walks, rinse, repeat. Let's just hope and pray Justin can stay healthy/avoid a second half collapse. I would love to see this guy put it together for a whole season again.
JJ Hardy- Batting average right at .250, but hitting for power and has shown some great glove work, I've been a big fan of this acquisition.
Scott Baker- Two wins, 3.38 ERA, hovering around six K's per nine innings. Certainly not front-line, ace pitcher outings but above-average. His WHIP is at 1.13 which tells me things will climb a bit, but I expect everyone's number to bloat once it gets a little warmer in the land of 10,000 Goons.
Lew Ford All-Stars (Twins Players off to a good start that I do not see lasting.)
Delmon Young- His batting numbers are slightly off, two home runs and nine RBI's, but the same old Delmon like numbers of a .282 on-base and a mid-.200's average. I am a huge fan of how he has been used, rotating with Jason Kubel in left when Jim Thome is DHing, but something tells me he will wake up one morning, dislike his batting average and start trying to pull the ball again and take away his pleasantly surprising power numbers.
Jon Rauch- Do not get me wrong, I do not think he is going to fall off the face of the Earth or anything. He just has been too good. The 1.17 WHIP is just so far off his career mark that it's only a matter of time until he has a bad week. I am more than happy with him being our closer and think we can contend, but he has been over his head (just slightly.)
Carl Pavano- See Rauch, Jon.
Heat Seeker's (These slow starters just need time, once it gets warmer out, watch out.)
Denard Span- .245 batting clip, but has ten walks. He is still getting on-base so we will just have to wait it out on getting hits. Prototypical leadoff man has ten runs. Part of the slow start I believe his karma for his Tweet:
"Today is my last Saturday with my family! Every year when I leave for the season it feels like I'm leaving to go to Iraq or something."How this did not get more attention from local media is beyond me. But his ignorance doesn't matter as much since that guy is scoring runs.
Jason Kubel- Not sure what to make of his start. On one hand he has a couple homers, eight RBI's and is drawing walks. On the other hand he has not scored any runs that weren't his own dingers, has nine hits and eight strikeouts in 40 at-bats. I have no reason to believe he won't turn it up a notch. He is the Lady GaGa of the Twins. People ask me "Mike, what do you think of her?" I just kinda shrug "Well 'Poker Face' had its moments, 'Just Dance' could've been worse, I like 'Bad Romance', that 'Disco Stick' song set back femininity 45 years, 'Telephone' is gratuitous, this 'Alejandro' song has potential." Like GaGa, I will just take the Kubster with a grain a salt and roll with it.
Nick Blackburn- The walking, breathing definition of a no. 3 starter. Blackburn's ERA is inflated at 6.05, his K rate is low, but he can only go up. He is in a weird spot. He doesn't have this overwhelming talent where if he has a bad season you would notice it or be completely bent out of shape, but he doesn't have the talent where we have huge expectations of him. I guess that would make him the walking, breathing definition of a no. 3 starter.
Kevin Slowey- I am totally not on the Slow-Man bandwagon, but he has walked too many guys for his track record. He will have less guys on base as the Summer progresses.
Frank Liriano Deserves His Own Section
Francisco Liriano- Fool me once, Shame on you. Fool me twice, Shame on me. Fool me three times? Shame on Me, You, Bill Smith, Rob Antony, Terry Ryan, Ron Gardenhire, Rick Anderson, Dr. James Andrews, the Dominican Winter League, Bert Blyleven, TC Bear, Any pitcher who successfully recovered from 'Tommy John' surgery, Any pitcher who did not recover from 'Tommy John' Surgery, Every Pitcher who ever had a great Rookie season and Denny Green. Let's share the blame.
They Are What They Are. It Is What It Is.
Orlando Hudson (Had to put him first or else I am a racist.)
The Scrap Heap (The Worst of the Rest.)
Jesse Crain- The biggest p.o.s. pitcher alive. The "Tin-Man" can guarantee you a frustrating performance weekly. I miss the days of him rehabbing his torn labrum. Looking forward to him coughing up a playoff game this October.
Drew Butera- "Defensive Wizard" has earned the title of minor league baseball's worst hitter, he backed up the title by going 0-3 with three K's in his only start at Chicago. A game which luckily went to extra innings and forced Joe Mauer to pinch-hit. Manager Ron Gardenhire wanted highly touted prospect Wilson Ramos on the roster while potential back-up Jose Morales rehabs a wrist-injury. WOW a defensive wizard who does "the little things" and Gardenhire doesn't even want him. I hope P.U.Tera takes a lot of pictures of Target Field, The Hotel Rooms and Plane while he is up here.
To summerize I am very happy two weeks in. Love the new road uniforms, generally like the newest players and especially the hot start the teams gotten off to. It's shaping up to be a memorable Summer!