April 6, 2022

The starters did their job, the bullpen did not in final tune up for Twins

The Twins’ starting lineup and starting pitching did just fine on Tuesday, cranking out five extra-base hits, including three home runs, and limited the Boston Red Sox to just one run through five innings. As the veteran players were cycled out of the lineup and manager Rocco Baldelli went deeper into the bullpen, the Sox rallied for a 10-6 win.

No matter. Those who will play with regularity this season — Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa and Luis Arraez — played well this spring, especially Buxton who hit a sizzling .469 with five home runs. Correa and Gio Urshela also homered on Tuesday and Arraez and Alex Kirilloff connected for two doubles.

Starter Josh Winder allowed one run over three innings and relievers Danny Coulombe and Jhoan Duran pitched two scoreless innings. The loss fell to Griffin Jax, who had a terrible sixth inning. He served up six runs, all earned, in only two-thirds of an inning.

The Twins finished Grapefruit League play at 9-10.

Extra innings…

-And so the new season is upon us, and that means taking a look at predictions for the 2022 season. I think the Twins have done enough to win the division, but despite adding Correa, Gary Sanchez, Urshela, Sonny Gray and Dylan Bundy, I don’t see anyone making the same forecast. That’s surprising to me and I think a mistake.

The Sporting News picks the Twins to finish fourth in the division:

While the signing of Carlos Correa and the trade for Sonny Gray will help, the rest of the team has a lot of question marks, particularly after Berrios was traded midseason last year and Donaldson was traded in the offseason. If Byron Buxton is healthy, he’s one of the games’ brightest stars, but that continues to remain a big “if.”

Jake Mintz of Fox Sports picks the Chicago White Sox to win the AL Central:

I wanted to pick the Twins here, but Chicago’s starting pitching — three frontline starters with Lance LynnLucas Giolito and Dylan Cease once Lynn gets off the injured list in a few months — should be so superior to Minnesota’s that I really had no choice. The lineups are somewhat comparable; Luis Robert and Byron Buxton are two of the only humans on planet earth who could rise to “best player in baseball” territory by the end of the season. Chicago probably has a slight offensive edge, thanks to its depth one through seven, but expect the Twins to put up runs in bunches, too. This race will be much closer than last year, but the White Sox just have too many elite players on both sides of the ball.

Bleacher Report has the Twins finishing in second place to White Sox:

Before the lockout, it wasn’t quite clear how the Twins would respond to falling down to the bottom of the division. Then last month they traded for Gary Sanchez and Gio Urshela from the New York Yankees. They also got Sonny Gray from the Cincinnati Reds and signed perhaps the best free-agent shortstop on the market in Carlos Correa.Suddenly, Minnesota is once again a threat in the American League, even if it’s still unclear to what degree. What’s certain is this is a much better team than when we last saw them in the regular season.

And finally…

CBS sports thinks Byron Buxton will be the 2022 AL MVP, the White Sox will reach the American League Championship Series and the Twins will barely make the postseason. Huh?

And then there was this…

COMMENTS

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.