Minnesota Twins State Of The Union: Looking For The Playoffs In 2016
Hunter Stokes (Chief Writer) Follow @stokes_hunter21
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The Minnesota Twins know how to build a winner. From 1992 – 1999 the team was not the greatest team around and they gradually built a ton of players through the draft like Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau and later Johan Santana, Francisco Liriano and Joe Mauer.
Being a good franchise means a smart game plan, and especially when you are a smaller market.
From 2001 – 2010 the club won 6 AL Central Titles and were always on the verge of sneaking through. They never seemed to have great depth Starting Pitching to move past clubs in the postseason (despite having Santana).
After the club moved into Target Field, it should have alleviated some of the financial concerns the organization had. They were in the top 10 for total team salary. Except for the core was getting older. Veterans were traded and the management focused on replenishing the Minor League System.
Lean years followed from 2011 – 2014, and it cost Ron Gardenhire his job after the 2014 campaign.
The fruits of their labor finally looked strong in 2015. Miguel Sano blasted his way into the Starting Lineup. Brian Dozier continued to assert himself as an ALL – Star Second Baseman in the league, and it was a nice retirement season for Torii Hunter.
Joe Mauer and Kurt Suzuki are the solid veterans of the club at 32 and 31.
Ervin Santana and Phil Hughes are at the top of the rotation and represent the signings the front office has made over the last 2 winters. Kyle Gibson and Tyler Duffey are homegrown products that should help round out the Starters.
Glenn Perkins has anchored the late inning relief over the last several years – and has made 3 straight ALL – Star Games among his 3 consecutive 30+ Save seasons.
What The Twins need?
Well a full season of Miguel Sano and Ervin Santana should be great for starters. Despite missing those guys for the 1st half of the year, the club still began the season 49 – 40 at the ALL – Star Break. But the depth of the club probably caught up to them down the stretch.
Sano should just be named the DH and let him concentrate on that solely.
Out of Byron Buxton, Oswaldo Arcia and Max Keppler, they need 2 out of the 3 guys to step up and take over starting role in CF and RF to compliment Rosario in RF.
The club definitely needs to invest in one Starting Pitcher, and a 4th OF. I may throw a guy like Doug Fister or Ian Kennedy as a guy that has the ability to throw like a #2 or #3 pitcher if they can bounce back to previous forms. I would not throw more than a 2 – 3 year deal on their plates.
Really the club will need all of their veterans clicking if they are going to make a run at the playoffs. Joe Mauer will need to be a .300 hitter. Santana and Hughes will need to both pitch like they did in 2014.
There needs to be incremental improvements from Rosario, Escobar and Murphy, so they can compliment the veterans.
The management should also take a run at some more players via trade either right now – or near the deadline.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com and their partners***
A Big thanks goes out to our chief writer Hunter Stokes for preparing today’s feature post.
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Posted on November 25, 2015, in MLB Teams State Of the Unions and tagged al central, alex meyer, austin jackson, Brian Dozier, doug fister, Eddie Rosario, eduardo escobar, ervin santana, francisco liriano, glen perkins, ian kennedy, joe mauer, johan santana, john ryan murphy, justin morneau, kurt suzuki, kyle gibson, Max Keppler, miguel sano, MInnesota Twins Roster 2016, oswaldo arcia, phil hughes, ron gardenhire, ryan raburn, Terry Ryan, Torii Hunter, trevor plouffe. Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.