The Minnesota Twins are quietly exceeding expectations
The Minnesota Twins were perhaps the least talked about team coming in to the 2015 season. They’ve had four straight 90-loss seasons and finished no higher than fourth in the American League Central division.
They have a new manager for the first time since 2002. Joe Mauer is coming off one of his least productive offensive seasons. They also have the least compelling roster in baseball. And yet, the Twins have quietly overachieved at 9-12.
That record may not inspire confidence, but just consider that’s the same record as talented teams like the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the Seattle Mariners.
It’s actually impressive since they got off to a 1-6 start. But since then, they have series wins over the Kansas City Royals who are 14-6, the trend-pick Cleveland Indians and the Mariners.
It would be surprising if they finished close to the division or even the wild card. But Mauer is showing some early signs of returning to form. He had three hits in a loss to the Detroit Tigers to move his average to .300 and drove in two runs to give him 11 RBIs on the year.
The Twins have also received a hot start from former St. Louis Cardinals outfielder Shane Robinson. Robinson hit a home run and drove in three runs in the 2013 National League Championship Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers en route to the Cardinals’ appearance in the World Series.
Robinson’s hitting .324 with five RBIs and eight runs scored, which is second on the team. Mike Pelfrey has been the Twins’ best starting pitcher so far with a 2-0 record in four starts and a 2.25 ERA.
The bullpen has been great so far though Casey Fien and Aaron Thompson got lit up today against the Tigers.
Fien had a 1.93 ERA in eight games and Thompson had a 2.03 ERA in 10 appearances before today. Glen Perkins has been one of the top closers so far with a 1.00 ERA and six saves in 10 games.