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Twins Hacking?

Or is it just the sample size?

As of today, the Twins are averaging eight runs per win, and just 1.6 runs per loss.  Some of this will be sample size, so I won't pretend that the future will be just as horrendous as what we've seen this offense do so far, but what we have seen over the season's first eight games is a team that can't get its act together consistently.  If this were June and we were having this conversation, we'd be talking about a marginal team in the best case scenario.  Luckily it's only April 14.

But still, this is what we've seen.  A lot of guys are pressing, or aren't sure of the strike zone, or are fooled by the pitcher or were expecting a different pitch or were protecting the plate or were blinded by the light because they wear their sunglasses at night (see what I did there?), or something, but about half of our lineup would strike out in a five-pitch at-bat where four of the offerings were off the plate.

Name OZ%
Delmon Young 57.1
Jose Morales 44.0
Alexi Casilla 36.1
Michael Cuddyer 33.9
Justin Morneau 32.1
Joe Crede 28.8
Carlos Gomez 27.0
League Average, 2008 25.4
Mike Redmond 21.4
Jason Kubel 17.1
Nick Punto 15.2
Denard Span 7.4

You could throw Delmon Young six consecutive sliders outside, and he'd swing at at least four of them.

Some of these guys have built-in excuses.  Jose Morales is basically a rookie.  Alexi Casilla doesn't have a lot of experience.  Justin Morneau always swings at that many pitches.  Carlos Gomez is actually swinging at fewer pitches outside of the strike zone than last year, so this is an improvement.

How good does this make Denard Span look?  And Jason Kubel?  I get chills at when I imagine them keeping this pace up all season long.

There are enough culprits and scapegoats of the team's first week fortunes that it seems a little harsh to criticise just the offense at this juncutre, especially when the fielding and pitching has been like it's been, but it is what it is.  Maybe nobody's used to what a strike zone is supposed to look like after a long winter, or maybe not having Joe Mauer in the lineup somehow discourages some of them from taking pitches.  But even Mauer is struggling; swinging at div/0 of balls outside the strikezone is higher than his career average.

Minnesota isn't an organization that teaches patience to their hitters, and this is something they've been criticised by the blogosphere for many times over the last few years.  This is just one more example.