Don’t Hit the Panic Button Yet, Twins Fans
The Minnesota Twins lost both ends of a doubleheader Wednesday vs the Boston Red Sox, putting them behind 0-3 in the four-game series and winless in their last six games. Now 5-7, the Twins have fallen to last place in the American League Central and fans are starting to get dry mouth, if they’re not already in full fledged panic mode.
Byron Buxton missed both games today with “right hamstring tightness” and Miguel Sano couldn’t hit a beach ball with a 2 x 4 if you underhanded it to him. On top of that, Jose Berrios and Kenta Maeda were the losing pitchers, meaning the hurlers will only get worse before they get better.
So, panic is probably the right emotion….
But let’s take a deeper look before we start selling all of our assets for future hope. There’s plenty of that “H” word to hold onto for the current club. Like, Byron Buxton. Sure, he didn’t play today and that sucks. But, if sitting Buxton for two losses today means that he plays more games throughout the year, I’m happy to make the sacrifice.
Especially when Buxton is finally blossoming into the great player he was once touted to be. Entering Wednesday, Buxton was leading the league in WAR, slugging %, OPS, and offensive win %. He was also 2nd in batting average and 5th in on-base %. If Byron plays 120 games this season he might win MVP.
Donaldson is Back too
We also got to see Josh Donaldson again today. He went 1 for 2 and immediately stretched out his hamstring, running from 1st to 3rd on a base hit and then tagging home for a run scored. It was good to see him open things up a little bit and still stand up looking healthy. That’s a victory in my book.
DONALDSON WENT FROM FIRST TO THIRD AND HE’S OK pic.twitter.com/BOJRZvxZ4F— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) April 14, 2021
Hopefully we get all three of Buxton (.469 AVG), Donaldson (.667 AVG) and Cruz (.438 AVG) in the middle of the Twins lineup tomorrow. The more often we can put those three together, the more likely we are to pile up wins. At the end of the season, 2021’s success will be dictated by the health of Donaldson and Buxton. So far, neither guy has had any severe injuries BUT they’ve obviously left us plenty to be concerned about.
Sano Will Be Fine
Stop worrying about Miguel Sano. He’s always been a slow starter and maybe he always will be. Keep giving him at-bats and let him hit himself out of his slump. Sano is a big league hitter and pitchers are still afraid of him. He’ll turn it around and he’ll be a huge contributor at points throughout this season. When he does, he’ll be our best and most dangerous hitter. And that’s saying something.
As long as the Minnesota Twins stay mostly healthy, we’ll only be concerned with playoff victories at the end of the season. So far, we still have a full team in-tact and a lot of season left to play. So until something changes on the injury front, I’ll be over here unconcerned.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan