The Twins are off to a flying start, with a commanding lead over the rest of the AL Central. The Tigers are in second place, 4 games behind the Twins, so it’s hard to find too much to quibble with in their season to date.
Or so you would think. The Twins and their fan base, long sensitive to contract size and their relationship with the overall success of a team will undoubtedly look askance at Josh Donaldson and his first month+ with his new team.
To date, Donaldson, and his largest free agent deal in Twins history, have produced a paltry .182 average with only 9 extra base hits on the season. Thanks to a decent enough walk rate and good fielding, he’s managed not to be a negative WAR player. It’s an inauspicious start.
It’s still only a month into the first season of his new contract, so there is still time to overcome these meager numbers, but all the same, Rocco Baldelli has moved Donaldson down to 6th in the every day lineup while bringing Jorge Polanco back to the lineup every day. Early in the season, the Twins used Ehire Adrianza and his glove at short, but now with Donaldson struggling, clearly, the other shoe to drop was giving the offense a boost with Polanco returning every day.
- In other Twins news, the bullpen shuffle continued. Cody Stashak was sent down to Rochester despite a 0.00 ERA over 7 innings. He went with Blaine Hardy, and in their place, Sean Poppen and old friend Addison Reed made their way to the roster. Poppen held his spot for 1 inning of work, before he was sent to Rochester to allow for the return of Michael Pineda. Nice to have options, I suppose.
- The Twins may not be the only ones with buyer’s remorse, though other teams have taken more drastic maneuvers. Newly signed free agent Francsico Cervelli was traded from the Marlins to Houston for a couple of minor leaguers. Bigger news is that the Diamondbacks have already moved on from Madison Bumgarner, trading him to Tampa for a package headlined by Manuel Margot, who the Rays themselves acquired just this offseason.
It might be too early for full blown buyer’s remorse, but the Twins and perhaps a few other teams may be experiencing some buyer’s concern, to say the least.