August 22, 2016

Now the Twins’ season could get really ugly, part 3

The Twins were swept on the road by the Kansas City Royals and now they come home to face the Detroit Tigers for three games, before hitting the road to play the Toronto Blue Jays and the Cleveland Indians. All of this could go very badly for the Twins.

The team has fallen to 26 games under .500 after suffering a four-game sweep at the hands of the Royals. The Twins this season are 2-7 against the Tigers and 1-3 versus the Blue Jays. They are 8-5 against the Indians, but the Tribe has been resurgent of late — 7-3 in the last 10 games.

The low point for the Twins this season was 29 games under .500. By next weekend, it could be much worse.

Extra innings…

-I recently wrote that starting pitcher Tyler Duffey was the “ace” of the staff. Well, that was a mistake. Yes, he leads the team with eight wins, but he hasn’t been a model of consistency. Ervin Santana, on the other hand, appears set to finish the season strong. Despite the 2-1 loss on Sunday, Santana struck out 10 over 7 innings and lowered his ERA to 3.39. He also leads the team in innings pitched and quality starts with 14. Yet after Sunday’s game, the tough-luck Santana fell to 6-10.

-The Twins lost 2-1 on Sunday, but Saturday’s loss was probably the worst of the season after they got shut out by the Royals 10-0. The Twins mustered only four hits, while the Royals banged out 17 hits and chased Twins starter Hector Santiago.

-Miss Ricky Nolasco? Well, there’s a reason for that because Hector Santiago is terrible and he was particularly bad on Saturday after he surrendered 11 hits, including three home runs, in four-plus innings. Since coming to the Twins from the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, Santiago is 0-4 with an ERA approaching 11.00.

-So what do the Twins do now with Santiago? Look for the predictable steps teams take when starting pitchers struggle. It could mean more rest between starts, a trip to the bullpen, a trip to the disabled list, or a trip to Triple-A Rochester. The beat goes on.

-After the Royals chased Santiago, the Twins got a look at Adalberto Mejia, who pitched in relief. Mejia is the top prospect the Twins received after trading Eduardo Nunez to the San Francisco Giants. Mejia was so-so in relief, giving up two runs in two-plus innings. Mejia has since been sent back down to Rochester and the Twins called up relief prospect Pat Light, who apparently can hit triple digits on the radar gun. We shall see.

Kyle Gibson gets the ball on Tuesday.



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.