Lets get this out of the way first: It’s never good for anyone to get sick, and especially with the current version of the COVID virus. I would much prefer this outbreak hadn’t occurred among the Twins, but perhaps this sow’s ear might also look a bit like a silk purse, if you squint hard enough
The Twins were playing very bad baseball when this pandemic hit. The first domino to fall to a positive test was Andrelton Simmons, who has strong personally convictions about vaccienes, but Kyle Garlick, who has been vaccinated, and another player both tested positive as well. The outbreak was enough to see the final two games of the weekend series versus the Angels pushed to a later date, and today’s game in Oakland moved to a double-header on Tuesday.
Given the bad baseball being played though, perhaps a reset will help. It’s not like the players have been in a low-stress environment the last few days, but it has been a stretch with minimal physical exertion. I assume there has been some provisions for guys to work out, but there hasn’t been any game situations, or even team practices occuring. Since Byron Buxton was day-to-day, Nelson Cruz had some kind of non-COVID illness, and various other guys probably had a variety of minor stuff going on, this is a nice little period for them to get right.
No one is reported to be seriously ill, and there shouldn’t be a lot of reasons left for teammates to be in a bad headspace. Garlick will have to spend a couple weeks in a LA-area hotel room, but a significant amount of testing has been done, enough it should give the rest the team some peace-of-mind as they travel up the west coast together.
Seeing an outbreak happen among your favorite team is never good, but if it had to happen to the Twins, maybe a few days off will help shake them out of their slump. After a 5-2 start, in which they did not lose during regulation, the Twins have slid into the AL Central cellar. Now the bullpen will be well-rested, most of the hitters will be available, and there will be no room for excuses. Oakland is a good team, but not on the level of the Red Sox or Angels right now, so the Twins winning streak can, and should, start here. Boston did us a favor and kept the White Sox down in the standings as well, so a few wins in a row will make everything right again for Minnesota baseball.
The final silver lining to be found here, is that the Twins are running a little short of outfielders, and the super-two deadline has passed—that means we probably will see top prospect Alex Kirilloff sooner rather than later.