M & M Meltdown - Twin Preview

Manager - Rod Gardenhire (32 -44) Overall (835 - 700) .544 Win%

Current Status - Even after the hot streak in June the Twins have the worst record in the AL. They have lost five in a row after winning eight in a row. So far in June they are 15 - 8, but that eight game winning streak must have used a Disney mirror. The M & M boys have melted down into chocolate goo. They have both won one MVP, and each have been to the All-Star game four times. However in 2011, Justin Morneau was playing at  Loney level before being sidelined with yet another injury. Joe Mauer recently returned from a strange illness but as of yet is hitting like Navarro and that might be giving him to much credit. This team is a mess and they just lost Delmon Young, and  are still missing Jason Kubel / Denard Span. Injuries have destroyed this version of the Twins. Pitching wise the rotation is doing fine with only Kevin Slowey missing and he had lost his job anyway.  In June the Twins have four starers with an ERA below 3.00. We get to face three of those four.

DL - Justin Morneau, Delmon Young, Kevin Slowey, Jason Kubel, Denard Span

Position Players:

1st Base - Michael Cuddyer and Luke Hughes have been getting the playing time. Luke Hughes is not very good, he's an infielder playing 1st because he had to.  Hughes is having a decent June. Cuddyer is having a career season with his 126 OPS+. He is one of only two full time Twins to have a plus 100 OPS+, and the only one still standing.

2nd Base - Alexi Casilla has won the gig, and while his overall numbers are not impressive (.251/.318/.353) he's been one of the best hitting middle infielders in the AL in June (.281/.354/.404)

ShortStop - Tsuyoshi Nishioka is back after missing most of the year. The Japanese transplant has been dismal so far, but we are talking less then 100 plate appearances.

 3rd Base - Next up Danny Valencia another dismal  offensive player (.216/.272/.359). Sometimes a youth movement is not a good idea.

Catcher - Joe Mauer is back. They had been talk of letting him play some 1st base with Morneau gone but then the back up catcher got hurt so I expect Mauer is going to catch. His TSL so far in this forgettable Twin season (.200/.243/.231).

UtilityMan - The whole team is full of utility players

RF - I guess if Cuddyer is not playing 1st, he'll be manning right field. If not then who the hell knows, this team is messed up, it would be like trying to predict who is going to play LF for the Dodgers.

CF - This was Denard Span's gig but he has a concussion so Ben Revere has taken the job. When you look at Revere's line you think of Dee Gordon, great speed, no OB skills, no power.

LF - Jason Repko? I'm telling you, this team is messed up.

DH - Thome is back so I expect he'll get the at bats. How he hurts himself next has to be part of the Twins fan poll.

Bench - Lousy


Matchups:

Nick Blackburn, he of the 4.73 K rate goes in game one.  His TSL is (3.15 / 4.43 / 3.89).

Brian Duensing goes in game two. He has an sub 3.00 ERA in June, but overall his TSL is (4.42 / 3.34 / 3.78). Duensing is left handed so we get to see if Loney starts or not.

Scott Baker gets the day game matchup, unlike the other Twin starters, Baker does have a strike out pitch (8.42 K rate). His TSL is (3.39 / 3.64 / 3.49).

Bullpen:

Closer - Matt Capps struggled early in the year but has been solid in June. Joe Nathan is back but will work in the setup role for now.

Setup - A plethora of names, left hander Glen Perkins has been the best of the lot. Jose Mijares, and Phil Dumatrait also throw from the left side. We will be sure to see Alex Burnett at some point.

 

The Twins can pitch but they can't hit, tell me if you have heard this story before. They are reeling, good time for a Dodger sweep on the road. If Chad, Lilly, and Rubby struggle against this offense, then nothing can save them. Nothing.

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