Minnesota’s midseason assessmentFARGO — When the Minnesota Twins sent Samuel Deduno to the mound to start Saturday’s game against the Texas Rangers, he became the team’s 11th different pitcher to start a game this season.
By: Hayden Goethe, The Dickinson Press
FARGO — When the Minnesota Twins sent Samuel Deduno to the mound to start Saturday’s game against the Texas Rangers, he became the team’s 11th different pitcher to start a game this season.
Where have you gone, Jack Morris?
Injuries and inconsistency have taken their toll on the Twins rotation. And that has ultimately been the team’s undoing, leaving Minnesota languishing in last place in the AL Central at the All-Star break.
The first-place Chicago White Sox will enter Friday’s unofficial start to the second half of the season 11 games in front of the Twins.
But it hasn’t been all bad for Minnesota. The bullpen has been serviceable. And the Twins have enjoyed breakout offensive seasons by Josh Willingham, Trevor Plouffe and Ben Revere to go with a bounce-back season from Joe Mauer.
Below is a glimpse at what has worked and what hasn’t for the Twins this season:
- Josh Willingham: The Twins signed Willingham prior to this season, and he hasn’t disappointed. Willingham has a .261 average with 19 homers and a team-leading 60 RBIs.
- Trevor Plouffe: Entering play on May 16, Plouffe was hitting .133 with one homer. In the almost eight weeks since, he has hit .296 with 18 homers.
- The bullpen: The Twins had a major league-worst 4.51 ERA from relievers in 2011. This season, their 3.64 bullpen ERA is at least in the middle of the pack.
- The rotation: The Twins’ AL-worst 5.68 ERA?begs the question:?How bad would that number be without Scott Diamond’s 2.62 ERA in 12 starts??It’s been a struggle all season long trying to find five starters that cannot just be productive, but also stay healthy.
- Shortstop: When other options failed, the Twins turned to rookie Brian Dozier, who has endured growing pains. He has committed 13 errors in 54 games, hitting just .242. But he finished the first half strong, hitting .344 with four stolen bases in his last eight games.