Nelson Cruz Just Asked Twins for Pitching Help; Says Team Won’t Win in Playoffs w/o One

Minnesota Twins' Nelson Cruz celebrates with teammates after the Twins clinched the AL Central on Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019, in Detroit. The Twins defeated the Detroit Tigers 5-1 in a baseball game, and later clinched when the Cleveland Indians lost to the Chicago White Sox. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
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So, if you are the Minnesota Twins front office or you are Carl Pohlad… at what point do you decide to give back to the fan base that has given you so much both financially and emotionally? That question is yet to be answered but a new one arose this morning, when the Star Tribune named Nelson Cruz as its “2019 Sports Person of the Year”. Along with the prestigious honor of that award, comes an interview.

In that interview, that was supposed to focus on how great Nelson Cruz was in 2019 both on and off the field, Boomstick turned the narrative toward 2020. Cruz was happy to make it back to the playoffs in 2019 but that isn’t enough for him next season and he isn’t ignorant to the fact that the Twins don’t currently have the pitching staff to make it any farther…. and he wants that to change. If you missed my tweet above with the quote from Cruz, here is the full exchange:

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Cruz’s next goal is success in the “It would be nice to have another starting pitcher, you know,” he said. “Pitching is the difference, even with the type of offense we have.

“If not, I think it still can be enough to go to the playoffs. We know what it takes to get to playoffs, but that is not enough, take care of the next step.”

As he begins to work up a sweat in the Dominican Republic, that next step would be easier if Cruz delivers another 40-home run season in a season in which he will turn 40.

“I should be taking care of everything this year, if I am healthy,” he said.

After the magic of 2019, why not?

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So, if the fans kicking and screaming for better starting pitching isn’t going to be enough…. will the Twins front office listen to Nelson Cruz? This entire article by the Star Tribune focuses a lot on how much of a leader Nelson Cruz is, inside this locker room. If this is how he feels, then you can guarantee that this is the narrative in conversations and text chains throughout the clubhouse.

Nelson Cruz is only here for one more season, most likely, but most of the guys on this team are young and only entering their prime. I’d imagine they are keeping a close eye on how much this front office and organization wants to win. If you aren’t willing to spend for that pitcher you so desperately need this offseason, when you are ten’s of millions of dollars below your expected player payroll budget, then it’s never going to happen. I know that. So do the players.

Winning might not be the be-all, end-all for every player on this roster, but it is for many. We’ve already been told about the long list of disadvantages we have in this market. Still being an organization that doesn’t REALLY want to win, isn’t another one you want to add to it.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fam

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