After splitting their opening road series, the Twins Target OOTP Twins came home nad looked strong, going 5-1 against the Oakland As and Cleveland Indians. They went back on the road for what should have been a milder road trip, but instead went 2-4 against the White Sox and Blue Jays.
The Twins dominated the Oakland series, allowing the A’s to just 1 run in the final two games of the series, with Randy Dobnak going into the 7th with a no hitter in the series finale. The Indians game was fraught the entire time. Cleveland, despite their losing the series, actually outscored the Twins, thanks to a 5-2 win on April 6th.
The White Sox came into their series with the worst record in the AL Central. Also, curiously, they gave the Giants two prospects for Yolmer Sanchez, a player they let walk with a non-tender this offseason. Maybe he was the glue to hold the team together, as Chicago took the series 2-1.
The series in Toronto was much more freewheeling. Toronto scored 10 times on the 13th, while the Twins matched the date, scoring 14 on the 14th. The teams went 13 innings on the 15th, but the Blue Jays took that game as well. Despite the sluggish road trip, the .500 opening trip and the dominant homestand have the Twins in first, playing the 2nd place team, the Detroit Tigers, at Target Field this weekend.
The offense, as expected, has been pretty studly. Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sano are pacing the team with 7 home runs each, but Cruz is hitting .276 to Sano’s .214. Luis Arraez is batting 371, but the real shining star is Jorge Polanco at .432, despite splitting time with Ehire Adrianza.
Willians Astudillo was sent back to Rochester, and Fernando Romero was demoted all the way to Pensacola, while Blaine Hardy and Jake Cave were brought back. Cave then usurped the starting left field spot from Eddie Rosario. One can’t imagine Rosario is long for the Twins at this point.
It’s still too early to say much about the pitching. The strongest starters were Randy Dobnak and the two new guys, Kenta Maeda and Homer Bailey, while Jose Berrios and Jake Odorizzi are off to rougher starts. The bullpen has been genrerally pretty good, aside from the revolving long reliever spot, with Zack Littell sticking and still not doing well. Tyler Clippard, Matt Wisler and Trevor May could stand for some consistency as well.
Lastly, with the season exposing opportunities for depth additions, the Twins have been active, signing Adam Lind, Dioner Navarro and old friend Addison Reed for Rochester and Pensacola. Don’t be surprised if a familiar place is the first injury replacement this season. Lewis Thorpe is the starter off to the strongest start, while the middle relief for Rochester is formidable as well.
This continues to be the kind of start that the Twins will want to make. Can it be sustained?