Twins Need Postseason GOAT Carlos Correa to Show Up vs Blue Jays

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Well, today is the day. The Minnesota Twins play the Toronto Blue Jays at 3:38 p.m. in game 1 of the American League Wildcard series. We aren’t yet sure about Royce Lewis’ status and Byron Buxton would need a postseason miracle to find his way onto the roster.

But there’s one injured star who, ailments and all, will be on the field Tuesday. The $36 million per year man, Carlos Correa, who has missed the last two weeks of regular season games after re-aggravating the plantar fasciitis in his left foot, has all but guaranteed his presence in the opening day playoff lineup.

That’s convenient. Because, injured or not; underperforming or not… it’s always nice to have one of the greatest and most clutch postseason superstars in Major League Baseball history on your playoff roster, while in his prime.

Carlos Correa lives for the MLB Postseason

And, just in case you don’t know or you’ve forgotten, that’s exactly what Carlos Correa is. Every time I look up Correa’s postseason stats, my brain breaks. His playoff numbers are unfathomable.

Remember, as you take in Carlos’ October greatness throughout this blog, that the MLB is over 100 years old and its postseason history is laced with multi-year clutch performers. Guys like Derek Jeter, Bernie Williams, Mickey Mantle, Lou Gehrig, David Freese and Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson.

Related: Twins Have Mashed Blue Jays Ace Kevin Gausman His Entire Career

But few big leaguers have been as good as Carlos Correa. And at just 29-years-old, the Puerto Rican playoff wonder is on pace to finish his career as the greatest postseason hitter in Major League Baseball history. That is not hyperbole. Tuesday will be the 80th playoff game Correa has played in.

Is Carlos Correa the greatest postseason performer in MLB history?

His first 79 are arguably the best in MLB history. Entering today’s milestone afternoon, the former #1 overall pick is tied for 9th all-time in total postseason bases (152), tied for 7th all-time in home runs (18) and 6th all-time in RBI (59).

Correa’s 334 postseason plate appearances are hundreds less than others on the same lists, including Derek Jeter (734 PA), Bernie Williams (545) and Manny Ramirez (493). That’s why he is 2nd all-time in postseason win probability added (2.7).

Being 2nd all time in playoff wPA says that only one player in MLB postseason history (David Ortiz) has meant more to winning a boatload of playoff games during his career than Carlos Correa.

In order to rack up a bunch of wPA, a player must be a very important factor in a large sample size of playoff victories. His team must win a lot of games and said player must prevent runs on defense while simultaneously producing them on offense.

Nearly a decade into his big league career, Carlos Correa has done exactly that. Others in the top 10 of career postseason wPA include Pete Rose (2.6 wPA, 301 PA), Albert Pujols (2.6 wPA, 360 PA) and Lou Gehrig 2.3 wPA (150 PA)

How crazy have the Houston Astros been, since Carlos Correa emerged in 2015? If the Twins are eliminated by the Blue Jays this week, in the AL Wildcard round, it will be the first time in Correa’s career that his team made the playoffs and failed to win at least one series.

Total6 Years7933437821618593079.272.344.505.8491522.7136.2%
2 ALWC3122301122.300.417.6001.01760.271.4%
6 ALDS25107132758291325.290.383.602.985561.0211.2%
5 ALCS31130153276171035.269.331.479.810571.4820.1%
3 WS20857204312517.253.306.418.72433-0.063.5%
Provided by View Original Table
Generated 10/2/2023.

Tuesday feels like such a huge turning point in Minnesota Twins history that it’s hard not to be nervous. A loss would send fans into an immediate downward spiral laced with “here we go again”s and “same old Twins”s. The despair would be so palpable, I’m not sure anyone would show up at Target Field for game 2.

It’s time for Carlos Correa to lead the Minnesota Twins out of MLB postseason despair

Okay, that’s an exaggeration, but you get my point. A win, however, would catapult the fanbase into near euphoria. The 18 game playoff losing streak would be broken and the only thing left standing between their favorite baseball team and a postseason series win for the first time since 2002 would be Jose Berrios.

But with Royce Lewis nowhere near 100%, if he does play, and a batting lineup packed with postseason inexperience, Carlos Correa becomes the lineup lynchpin. An early 2-run nuke or double into the gap with RISP could put a level of belief into his teammates that cannot be measured or underestimated.

Correa hasn’t been “that guy” all year. And no doubt, his plantar fasciitis and 2-week hiatus it caused, doesn’t breed confidence either. But some guys just have that innate ability to flip a switch, come playoff time.

And in October 2023, the man written in at shortstop for the Minnesota Twins in game 1 of the AL Wildcard has been HIM for nearly a decade.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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