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What We're Worrying About

The Twins are 13-6 and have won their first five series of 2010. So far, they've been one of the best teams in the American League, and have certainly been the best in the AL Central.

Which, of course, is not to say that everything's gone well. We still have a few things to worry about at this point. (DISCLAIMER: Yes, I realize 19 games is a small sample size in the grand scheme of things, but it's over a tenth of the season gone, and it's plenty of time to establish worrying patterns.)

  • Jason Kubel. If he hadn't walked a dozen times, he'd barely see first base at all; he's hitting .169 and has just 10 hits in 72 plate appearances. He's actually been more effective not swinging, drawing 13 walks.
  • Jon Rauch. Boy, it's just like having ol' Eddie G. back, isn't it? They couldn't look any more different on the mound, but Rauch and Guardado are much the same - average relievers who have a tendency to give fans heart attacks in late innings. Rauch blew a save on Saturday for the first time. I can't help worrying that this will be a regular feature.
  • J.J. Hardy. His defense is good, but at the plate he's actually been worse than he was last season (.214/.286/.357); the three home runs lulled me into thinking he's been okay at the plate, when in reality, he's been an out machine.
  • Nick Blackburn. He's been getting pounded (.317 batting average against), he's given up runs (6.85 ERA), he's not been missing bats (2.66 K/9). He's actually walked more guys than he's struck out, and he's yet to make a quality start (going by game score). And he's been dealing with "elbow soreness." I'm not sure it's possible to have any more red flags.
  • Jose Mijares. We're always worried about Jose, but now he's on the DL, overweight, and unable to get anybody out. Plus, the team can't seem to figure out where his head is at. Are we sure there aren't some deeper issues to worry about here? (Yes, we're worried about being even more worried.)

Those are my top five worries, at this point of the season. It's been a good first 19 games - but problems have a way of adding up quickly.