May 8, 2016

Blow it up: The Minnesota Twins are terrible

Time to face facts, Twins fans: This team is terrible, and all the hope created by last season’s team and its 83 wins — plus the near playoff berth — can be forgotten. All that’s left is to find those silver linings that bode well for the future. As for 2016, forget it; I don’t see the Twins getting much better.

What brought this on? Saturday’s loss to the Chicago White Sox, the Twins’ fourth straight since taking one game from the Houston Astros last week (big deal). The Twins have won only eight of 30 games to start the season. They are dead last in the American League Central, 12.5 games behind the White Sox and 6.5 games behind the Detroit Tigers, the fourth-place team in the division.

The following is about to unfold:

-Lineup changes: General Manager Terry Ryan isn’t going to sit around forever and watch the Twins self-destruct, so expect more personnel moves along the lines of what happened to pitchers Casey Fien and Tommy Milone. Fien was placed on waivers and picked up by the Los Angeles Dodgers, while Milone was sent to Triple-A Rochester. Other than the established stars on the team, I wouldn’t think anybody’s job is safe. Some of these moves have been driven by recent injuries, but more are coming. Eddie Rosario, who hit 15 triples last season, has yet to find his stroke — like most everyone else on the team — and could soon be reacquainted with Rochester.

-Coaching changes: The Twins believe in continuity — they’ve had three managers in 30 years — so I think Manager Paul Molitor and Pitching Coach Neil Allen are safe. But ex-Twin and hitting coach Tom Brunansky just might be the odd man out. If the Twins continue to struggle, don’t be surprised if Bruno gets shown the door. Don’t know if he wants the job, but should Bruno lose his, another ex-Twin, Torii Hunter, would make for an interesting candidate. And maybe the Twins wouldn’t necessarily need him to teach hitting.

Pioneer Press reporter Mike Berardino has an interesting story about Hunter and the motivational effect he had on the Twins and other teams he played for in his career. And there are some who think that it was Hunter, not Molitor, who was responsible for the Twins winning 13 more games last season than they did the previous year.

-Trades: As bad as it has been, I’m not sure a deal could be made without sacrificing some talent in the minors, which means potentially putting the future on hold. And the last deal hasn’t worked out for the Twins or the Yankees. The Twins sent Aaron Hicks to the Yankees for catcher John Ryan Murphy and both have struggled. Murphy has done absolutely nothing at the plate and is now in the minors.

-More promotions: Darin Mastroianni, who hit .400 during Spring Training, has been called up to join the Twins. Here’s to hoping he finds his swing again to help the team.

Tyler Duffey gets the ball on Sunday.



Hi, I’m Rolf Boone, Twins fan.

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.