Welcome to The Minnesota Twins Week in Review. On Access Twins, we’ll take a deep dive into the week that was for your Twins. We will post on Mondays, and look back from the previous Monday to Sunday since that’s how MLB lines up its schedule.
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And now, let’s talk to it:
Record: 4-4, .500 (t-15th) — 1-2 at home, 3-2 on the road
Current Fangraphs Record Projection: 78-84, .484 (3rd place, no change)
Current Fangraphs Division Chances: 6.3 percent (+0.3 percent)
Current Fangraphs Playoff Chances: 9.2 percent (-0.1 percent)
Baseball Prospectus PECOTA Record Projection: 83-79 (3rd place, +1 win)
Baseball Prospectus Division Chances: 18.3 percent (+2.2 percent)
Baseball Prospectus Playoff Chances: 23.2 percent (+0.3 percent)
Baseball Prospectus Adjusted Playoff Chances: 20.9 percent (+0.9 percent)
FiveThirtyEight Record Projection: 77-85 (3rd place, no change)
FiveThirtyEight Division Chances: 6 percent (no change)
FiveThirtyEight Playoff Chances: 10 percent (no change)
Breakdown: “So we beat on, boats against the current, borne back ceaselessly into the past.”
Hitting (with rankings)
Batting Average: .217 (24th)
On-Base Percentage: .306 (19th)
Slugging Percentage: .403 (17th)
OPS: .709 (18th)
wOBA: .310 (18th)
wRC+: 98 (13th)
Runs Per Game: 4.75 (18th)
Batting Average (w/ RISP): .280 (12th)
Breakdown: I’m not sure how much, if it all, it showed, but the Twins were markedly better this week with runners in scoring position than last (.230).
Where that shows up most is that the Twins had two of their four wins last week in come-from-behind fashion — something they’d done only three times all season prior to that.
Is it a good sign that the Twins turned things around a bit without the offense completely clicking? It kind of seems like it. Is this Twins offense destined to turn things around? It also kind of seems like it.
But what does that mean, exactly?
American League teams, only the whole, are slashing .238/.311/.400 for a .711 OPS. Last season, that mark was .243/.319/.414. In 2019? Try .253/.323/.439. That’s a more than 50-point OPS drop in that stretch.
And sure, every team floats around the league average relative to how good they are — but if the pitching staff isn’t good enough to push back like every other team has to this point, it won’t matter.
More on that later this week, but the Twins need to trade for a No. 3-4 starter.
Starting Pitching (with rankings)
IP: 39.2 (5th)
IP/GS: 4.96 (20th)
Pitches/Start: 83.8 (18th)
ERA: 5.22 (22nd)
FIP: 4.71 (19th)
xFIP: 4.50 (22nd)
SIERA: 4.55 (22nd)
K/9: 7.9 (t-21st)
K%: 19.8 percent (22nd)
BB/9: 3.40 (19th)
BB%: 8.5 percent (20th)
K-BB%: 11.3 percent (23rd)
WHIP: 1.36 (21st)
Opponent Batting Average: .248 (15th)
Opponent On-Base Percentage: .324 (20th)
Opponent Slugging Percentage: .459 (19th)
Opponent OPS: .782 (18th)
Breakdown: It’s surely amazing what modest improvement across the board — aside from dropping nearly 200 points in slugging against — can do for a team.
Still, this isn’t good enough. If the run environment continues to stay down where it is, there’s just not enough oomph here to keep this team afloat. Going .500 every week isn’t terrible, but it won’t help the Twins to gain any traction in the AL Central.
Relief Pitching (with rankings)
IP: 28.1 (5th)
ERA: 4.76 (18th)
FIP: 4.53 (20th)
xFIP: 4.72 (27th)
SIERA: 4.28 (25th)
K/9: 11.2 (17th)
K%: 25.6 percent (18th)
BB/9: 5.4 (27th)
BB%: 13.6 percent (28th)
K-BB%: 12.0 percent (25th)
WHIP: 1.55 (20th)
Opponent Batting Average: .255 (17th)
Opponent On-Base Percentage: .355 (21st)
Opponent Slugging Percentage: .462 (20th)
Opponent OPS: .817 (21st)
Inherited Runners: 1 (t-27th)
Inherited Runners Scored: 1 (t-22nd)
Inherited Runners Scored Percentage: 100 percent (t-28th)
Breakdown: Well, so much for last week looking like this group was ready to turn a corner.
The strikeouts are down after the Twins led the league in K/9 the week before, and pretty much every rate statistic took a dive from the previous week as well.
One thing of note: Twins relievers inherited only one runner last week. And while it scored, it’s hard to know what to make of that. If pitchers worked their way into trouble, pretty much every single time, manager Rocco Baldelli basically allowed them to sink or swim in their own water.
Did it work?
Well, it’d be hard to argue in favor of the results. But again, with how badly things have gone to this point, it’s hard to argue against changing things up. What’s the definition of insanity, again?
All research is done via Sportradar’s r360, Baseball-Reference or Fangraphs unless otherwise noted.
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