Michael Cuddyer's New Season

Apparently, Michael Cuddyer is a giant.

Everyone was either terrible or hurt in April. At least, everyone who wasn't Jason Kubel or Denard Span, two guys who are now, not so bizarrely, on the disabled list. Michael Cuddyer was no exception to this general rule, pounding out three homers (which wasn't so bad) but also only hitting three doubles en route to what can only be described as a month full of struggles. In 101 plate appearances Cuddyer struck out 15 times and walked 7 times. A lack of good contact, a lack of some discipline, a lack of power, and, hell, a lack of luck meant he was hitting a paltry .227 at month's end.

The odd thing is that he was still one of the better hitters on the team. It's all relative.

Since the calendar turned to May, however, he's one of a number of Twins who have found their stride. Alexi Casilla picked up his game in May. Nick Blackburn, Scott Baker and Carl Pavano found their strides in May, too. But Cuddyer may be the most consistent of them all.

Over 36 games since May 1, Cuddyer has hit .314/.383/.489 with six homers, six doubles, 15 walks and just 22 strikeouts. His breakout, in conjunction with having Casilla and Ben Revere reaching base in front of him on a regular basis, has allowed him to lead the Twins to what's been a mild resurgence.

During Minnesota's recent 11-2 stretch, Cuddyer has raked by going 15-for-43 (.349) with 8 extra base hits (.712 slugging) and an even 7-to-7 walk to strikeout ratio. Over that same stretch, Revere has scored 10 times (while hitting .304 with an on-base percentage higher than .340) and Casilla has scored 8 times (while hitting .367 with an on-base percentage of .415).

All of those 18 runs haven't come off the bat of Cuddyer, just like all of Cuddyer's 13 runs batted in over these 13 games haven't all come from Revere and Casilla. But each of these players has a new lease on the 2011 season, just like the Twins.

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