The 2017 Twins season is here! While Opening Day really is a time to just be excited, we also have to face reality.
Here are the top five worries for the Twins going into the 2017 season.
1. The pitching
In you case you missed it, the Twins have had pretty terrible pitching for the past six years or so. While it’s getting better, it still has a ways to go.
Ervin Santana. Hector Santiago. Kyle Gibson. Phil Hughes. Adalberto Mejia. That’s what we’re working with for the starting rotation.
The Twins did decide to bring thirteen pitchers north with them for Opening Day as extra insurance, sticking Tyler Duffey in the bullpen instead of trying to make space for ByungHo Park at DH. Duffey, who is normally a starter, will probably work in long-relief until someone in the rotation is injured or (more likely) just sucks so bad that Duffey takes their place. This is sorta troubling overall because the PECOTA projections thought Tyler Duffey would be the best starter for the Twins this year.
- 2017 Twins ZiPS Projections: Pitching still sucks, batting might be “meh”
- Weird projections about the 2017 Twins
- Hector Santiago is not to be trusted
- Can Adalberto Mejia be the answer?
2. We might not have a real shortstop
I really don’t mean to poop on Jorge Polanco, but he’s just not really a shortstop. He’s more of a second baseman, but because of Brain Dozier, the fact Polanco is out of options and can’t be sent back to the minors, and the Twins don’t have any better option, here Polanco is—at shortstop.
Polanco’s arm is not the strongest. Expect to see Joe Mauer digging a lot of throws out of the dirt at first base.
Currently, though, the only other fill-in options at shortstop are Eduardo Escobar and Danny Santana. Neither of them are great alternatives, either. Ehire Adrianza—known for his defensive prowess—is starting the year on the DL.
3. Miguel Sano’s defense
We all know Miguel Sano did not have the best defense last year when he was starting in right field. That was to be expected.
What wasn’t to be expected was when the Twins moved him back to third base, and he made even more errors. Even for a third baseman, Sano is rather large. I think his overall athleticism may be underrated, and he does have a great arm, but it’s still something the Twins need to worry about.
4. Brian Dozier will probably regress
Brian Dozier hit 42 home runs last year, which for Twins fans, is amazing. The only other Twin to ever hit 36 or more home runs was Harmon Killebrew, who did it a whopping seven times. Dozier also set the record for the most home runs my an American League second baseman last year.
I hate to be the party-pooper, but Dozier probably isn’t going to repeat the season he had last year. I mean, it kinda came out of nowhere. No one expects him to repeat.
Hopefully everyone is just wrong.
5. They’re still too young?
The biggest thing the Twins have going for them these days is an abundance of talented, young players. Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano, Jose Berrios—they are all just 23 years old. The number one key to the Twins improving this year is if their young players to figure stuff out—but are they still too young to do that?
This whole young-ness thing is also why it is so hard to predict what the Twins will do this season. Really, anything is possible.
It could be worse.
- Byron Buxton was rushed, but not ruined
- Running wild on the bases: Twins base running offers a needed bright spot
- The changing face of the Minnesota Twins
Is there something else you think is even more concerning for the Twins this season than these things? Please share below.