June 11, 2016

As Meat Loaf would say: Two out of three ain’t bad

The Twins took two of three from the visiting Miami Marlins this week, getting plenty of power from a lineup that no longer has Miguel Sano and pitching help from some new faces in the bullpen.

For the moment, the Twins don’t miss Sano because they hit seven home runs in the team’s two wins against the Marlins. Eduardo Nunez hit two, newcomer and surprise Robbie Grossman hit one as well, as did Brian Dozier — a game-winning shot in Game 1 of the series with the Marlins.

Dozier has seven home runs on the year, but has otherwise struggled at the plate with a batting average barely above .200. Perhaps the game-winning shot will get him on track the rest of the way.

In the second game, Joe Mauer, continuing a modest power surge, hit a home run, along with the hot-and-cold Byung Ho Park, who again is tied for the team lead with 11 home runs. Third baseman, Trevor Plouffe, who has struggled with injuries in the early part of the season, hit his fourth of the year. It was long overdue. Like Dozier, let’s hope Plouffe’s home run is a sign of things to come.

Although the Twins are getting their share of hits and extra-base hits, the starting pitching continues to suffer as starters don’t pitch deep into games, leaving the bullpen vulnerable to a lot of extra work. Still, two new faces collected saves in the series with the Marlins: Buddy Boshers and Brandon Kintzler.

And Kintzler apparently will now share closing duties with Fernando Abad after Kevin Jepsen lost his job as closer. That’s a welcome move. Jepsen has been terrible. Earlier in the season I was in favor of Trevor May replacing Jepsen, but May hasn’t been very good either and is now on the disabled list. Also joining him on the DL is former starting pitcher Phil Hughes. Hughes took a liner off his left knee during his first relief appearance of the year.

Extra innings…

-The Twins may have taken two of three from the Marlins, but they also dropped the final game to the fish and then lost 8-1 on Friday to the Boston Red Sox. Two out of three quickly became back-to-back losses.

-The Twins have recalled called up relief pitcher JT Chargois from Triple-A Rochester. Here’s what MLB.com had to say:

Ranked as the Twins’ No. 9 prospect in the farm system, he posted a 1.12 ERA with 34 strikeouts and nine walks in 24 innings between Double-A Chattanooga and Triple-A Rochester. The 25-year-old has a career 2.05 ERA in the Minors with 109 strikeouts in 88 innings, but underwent Tommy John surgery in 2013, missing the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

-Starting pitcher Kyle Gibson, who hasn’t pitched in more than a month for the Twins due to injury, gets the ball on Saturday against the Red Sox.

-The Twins made Pittsburgh native and high school outfielder Alex Kirilloff their first pick of Thursday’s MLB draft.

Here’s what MLB.com had to say about the pick:

Kirilloff, ranked as the No. 18 overall draft prospect by MLBPipeline.com, is known for his advanced bat, as he’s hitting .544/.645/1.000 with three homers and 23 RBIs in 19 games. He has 17 extra-base hits, 17 walks and has struck out once. He’s committed to Liberty University, but his signability is not a concern.

 

 

 

 

 

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.