The Twins have crawled out of the starting gate at a 2-7 clip and now are headed for New York and Tampa. I know that they have played just nine games but let’s look at some of the numbers that the Twins have put up so far in 2012. I know there will be fans that say that it is too early to get a good feel for what this team can accomplish this year and that the sample size is real small and I agree, but no matter how you color it, this team is playing poorly and under performing in all three categories, hitting, pitching and fielding.
- The Twins starting pitchers are 0-5 and are the only team in the American league without a win to their credit. By contrast, Texas Rangers starting pitchers are 6-0.
- The Twins starting pitching ERA is 5.54 with the opposition hitting at .284 clip. The Yankees starting pitching ERA is 5.26 and opponents are hitting .308, it will be interesting to see if the Twins hitters can take advantage of this.
- Twins starting pitchers have only walked 12 batters, only Cleveland has been better this year.
- Twins starters as we know are not strikeout pitchers and their numbers back that up with the lowest number of strikeouts in the league at 24 in 52 innings.
- Twins relievers are in the middle of the pack with a 2-2 mark and a 4.50 ERA and only four teams in the league have thrown fewer innings than the Twins bullpen has (that surprises me). Opponents are only hitting .250 against the Twins relief staff.
- Twins relievers have only given up three home runs, it just seems like more.
- Twins pinch-hitters are 0 for 5.
- Twins DH’s are among the worst in the league hitting a combined .206 scoring 2 runs with 1 home run and 2 RBI’s.
- The Twins are hitting .258 (fifth best in the league) but are tied with Seattle for fewest home runs with 7.
- The Twins have stolen 4 bases in 5 attempts and have hit into a league leading 13 double plays.
- Twins hitters have left 63 runners stranded as compared to the White Sox fewest at 49. The Yankees have left a league leading 76 “ducks on the pond”.
- Scoring runs continues to plague Minnesota as they have scored just 28 times tieing them for league worst with Oakland.
- The Twins fielding percentage is .980, the third worst in the league and the team has turned just 6 double plays. As a team they have committed nine errors in nine games.
What are the Twins going to do with Justin Morneau? The last few days you hear that Justin is unhappy as a DH and wants to play 1B. This is a no brainer, send the guy out to play first, what have you got to lose? The man is hitting .206 with one home run and two RBI’s as a DH and claims he is still feeling his way in the DH role. He has been DHing for a month now in Florida and here, how tough can it be to get a routine?. Oh, and slide Morneau down to the fifth spot in the order and move Willingham up one spot, seems like another no brainer. Put Parmelee in right and Doumit at DH and then you don’t have to worry about that catchers back-up role and you can use Clete Thomas as a defensive sub for Willingham or Parmelee when the Twins have a late inning lead.
Maybe the Twins can play a bit better on the road and take a couple from the New York Yankees who have probably already put 3 wins in their win column knowing the Twins are coming to town. I sure hope that the Twins can turn things around soon.
The Yankees and Twins will meet four times at Yankee Stadium this season, all in this series. The home town Yanks are 28-5 in home regular season games vs. Minnesota since the start of the 2002 season (33-7 including home postseason games). In 2011, went 3-1 versus the Twins at Yankee Stadium. In season series play, the Yankees have won the last 10 consecutive home season series when playing the Twins (2002-11).