As a Twins fan, I am most comfortable leading with a complaint. The Twins don’t ever steal any bases. It was frustrating watching the Royals run all over the Twins, while even the fastest Twins stayed on whatever base they ended up on until the ball was in play.
Now that I have that out of my system, here is the truth. The Twins have the speed to be active on the bases, but they also have so many other skills, the advantages of stealing bases simply don’t outweigh the risk of getting thrown out, even if that happens infrequently.
We all know that they have offensive skill in spades. They hit home runs, they can hit for average, they have gap power and they get on base. Why would you want to lose chances to get more players to the plate with a rogue baserunning mishap?
But they use their speed in the field, without a doubt, and that is to the great benefit of the pitching staff. As a staff, their FIP exceeds their ERA, and the batting average on balls in play is an unusually low .260. That suggests that there are a lot of guys that are wholly capable of getting to the ball, both in the infield and outfield.
What’s even more impressive is that they are going full speed after everything, and they haven’t had to sacrafice their fundamentals. They are getting to all these balls, but have only had 2 errors on the season. The’ve had a gifted outfield for some time, and moving Miguel Sano to the hot corner and replacing him with a combination of Josh Donaldson, Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza has improved the infield defense as well.
The completeness of the position players have carried the starting rotation through a slow start, and have made many games available for victory when they may not have been for other teams. When Jose Berrios and the team’s health improves, it’s hard to find a weakness that can’t be overcome.