"I WANT YOU....to play better." - Ron Gardenhire (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Today at TwinkieTown let's take a look at some of the underlying stats that may or may not be contributing to the Twins lack of success just one month into the season.
What I've found, and think some of you may find, is that some aspects of the team are actually much better than what is widely believed. In fact, in almost all respects -- the obvious caveat being starting pitching -- this team compares quite favorably to the club that lost 99 last year.
In other words: Something has to give.
So today, let's take a peek at the numbers game behind your 6-17 Minnesota Twins:
3: The number of walks for the aforementioned duo, good -- or more accurately, bad -- for a 10:1 K/BB ratio.
15: The number of strikeouts in 26 plate appearances for Clete Thomas.
1.00: Jared Burton's ERA since allowing two longballs in his first appearance at Baltimore.
.198: Burton's OPS against in that same time frame.
0.33: Burton's WHIP (1 hit, two walks) in that same span (nine innings).
92.7: The average velocity of a Brian Duensing heater. His previous career high? 91.3 (2011).
3.1: The number of fielding runs accumulated by Alexi Casilla according to FanGraphs, making him the best defensive player on the club right now.
8: The number of Twins hurlers with sub-zero WARs (only Nick Blackburn, Duensing, Glen Perkins, Carl Pavano, and Alex Burnett are 0.0 or higher). [Writer's Note: Really surprised Burton isn't above zero.]
8.5%: The offense's HR/FB rate, which ranks 23rd in the major leagues.
42.0%: The Twins swing rate, which is third-lowest in the major leagues. In other words, the club is swinging at far under half the pitches they see.
87.9%: The number of pitches in the zone that the Twins -- when swung upon -- make contact with. This is good for ninth in the majors, and should bode well considering the club's above average line-drive rate and 81.9 percent contact rate (fourth in the big leagues overall).
30th: The Twins' staff ranking in ERA (5.59), FIP (5.17), and xFIP (4.33). All of this results in a -0.9 WAR, leaving the club as the only team below replacement level pitching-wise. The Twins are also last in HR/9 (1.64), strand rate (67.5 percent), batting average against (.283), and second to last in contact rate allowed (82.7 percent).
5.09: The staff's K/9 mark, far and away the worst. The next team on the list? Oakland, at 5.64.
.818: The Twins OPS at home (.298/.367/.451 triple-slash in 426 PA)
.598: The Twins OPS on the road (.221/.280/.318 in 436 PA)
Now this is just a random sampling, but I'll try make this a semi-regular feature. What stats stood out most to you that either you might not have expected, or may be a strong reason why the club is struggling so much? Let's hear it, TwinkieTown nation!