Rene Descartes Tom Anderson of Anoka
Major League Baseball stands alone among pro sports. For one, the regular season is an exceedingly long 162 games. Furthermore, the binary nature of the sport, along with the limited factors involved in any single play, means that it is more of a numbers game than any other sport. This allows for a lot of small sample size fun, or misplaced worry. Through six games, the Twins are 2-4 for a winning percentage of .333. However, these six games represent only 3.7% of the regular season. While continuing at this pace would only bring them a franchise-worst 54 wins for the season, a simple three-game winning streak would change their trajectory to a 90-win campaign. But don’t let that discourage you from overreacting; “Carpe Diem”, my friends.
Overreaction Level 1: The Twins Pitching Staff is.... Good?
The Twins currently are the owners of the 13th best team ERA in MLB, despite giving up 7 runs in back-to-back games to, perhaps, the best offense in baseball. The majority of the runs they have given up have been by low-leverage relievers, as the starting rotation has been solid so far. The staff ERA stands at 3.83, and the starters are a hair better at 3.71; I do not think it’s too far a stretch to say that the staff could sustain numbers close to these. Chris Archer and Dylan Bundy looked excellent in their respective starts so far; a continued resurgence from one or both of them would be huge for this staff. Calling this staff “good” is a slight overreaction; however, it could end up being true.
Overreaction Level 2: The Twins’ Defense is Bad
The Twins have made more errors than any team in baseball through play on Wednesday. They have 7 errors, including a pair of real head-scratchers by Gio Urshela and Chris Paddack against the Dodgers. This is an overreaction; no defense with Max Kepler, Byron Buxton, Carlos Correa, and Jorge Polanco can be truly bad. Urshela is better than we have seen thus far. However, Luis Arraez appears to have regressed, left field (between Kirilloff and Nick Gordon) has been a bit of a black hole, and Miguel Sano has done himself no favors. This defense may not be good, and the depth is lacking, but it will be at least average.
Overreaction Level 3: Gary Sanchez is Good
Gary Sanchez has a 101 OPS+ so far! He’s hit a grand slam! He was an opposing wind gust and 3 feet away from a walk-off home run on opening day! He broke up the Dodgers’ perfect game bid with a single! These things are all true. Gary has not exactly lit the world on fire so far, but he has been solid at the plate. Additionally, he has been involved in two plays at the plate and did not screw up either one of them. By the eye test, he’s been pretty solid at receiving and blocking pitches as well. I was not a fan of Sanchez before (see the quote below for what I wrote about him just last week), and I’m hopeful for him now, but a Yankees fan keeps reminding me of the streaky nature of Sanchez. I’m taking his start with a pessimistic “wait and see”.
Overreaction Level 4: The Twins lost the Taylor Rogers Trade
The Taylor Rogers trade was brought into question immediately, as emotional attachment and a bullpen devoid of any name recognition scared Twins fans. Unfortunately, these fears were only amplified when Tyler Duffey blew a save in the second game of the season. Rogers has been excellent thus far with the Padres, racking up 3 saves in 3 outings, while Chris Paddack scuffled a bit on his way to giving up 3 runs in 4 innings on Wednesday. The fact of the matter is this: Rogers was almost certainly going to leave in free agency after this season, and in return we got a young starter with years of control, as well as a serviceable reliever to fill Rogers’ spot. Hold faith in Paddack; the top prospect dealt with a variety of difficult factors on Wednesday, between the Dodgers, the weather, and adjusting to a new environment.
Overreaction Level 5: DFA Miguel Sano
The hawtest of takes. Every year, Miguel Sano is abysmal for a month in the beginning. Every year, he’s abysmal for a few weeks later in the season. Every year, he ends up among the team leaders in OPS and well above league average. By all accounts, Sano really put in the work this off-season to be in better physical shape (lost 25 pounds, in the end). Is he a Gold Glove first baseman? No. Is he better suited at DH? Yes. Has he even sniffed a base hit so far this season? No. Will he turn it around? History says yes. This happens every year, and people call for his head every year, and a month later, I smugly say “I told you so” every year. This is, admittedly, wildly frustrating and understandably drives Twins fans towards insanity, but it is what it is. Do I think we will/should extend him? Probably not, but for now, he’s here and he’s relatively cheap, and he will mash once he gets going.
Let’s hear some more Twins fan overreactions and hawt takes! Jump in the comments and let us know what you’re feeling after six measly games.