It was a terrible season for the Twins, absolutely terrible.
It’s hard to pinpoint what happened. On the surface two things pop out:
Weak starting pitching
I don’t think there was a single point during the seasons that the entire team was off the DL. The biggest hit was the loss of Morneau for the bulk of the season and the on and off Mauer show. The M&M boys are the core of the team.
Both are AL MVPs and legit threats at the plate and rock solid in the field. They also ushered in something new to the modern Twins, legit super stars.
I have to wonder if that was part of the problem. The Twins of the ’00s were built on a team before individual mentality. They were piranha that picked away at your under belly one bite at a time. Guys like Nick Punto and Lew Ford wore down opponents.
All of a sudden Morneau wins the AL MVP, Mauer starts picking up batting titles and the gets his own MVP award. Did this somehow trough off the dynamic. I am in no way implying that Mauer or Morneau are prima-donas or anything overt happened. More so a nudge that knocked things off balance.
I have faith that things will be different next years. If they can develop some of the your guys down in the minors and maybe pick up a starter in the off season they should get back on track pitching wise.
Hopefully Mauer and Morneau will get themselves back together physically. I would also suggest they move back in together and get things rolling ’06 style.
I think the twins have a decision to make in regards to their identity. Are they going to continue to be the scrappy underdog or are they going to step up and battle the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox at their own game.
A few of their call-ups can help them in either direction.
This guy embodies the Twins of the past.
Plouffe is never going to be a super star, but he is good in the field and OK at the plate. He also has shown a knack for clutch hitting on a few occasions. He reminds me a little of the old Piranha.
If the Twins want to remain scrappy underdogs that have a knack for leaving the playoffs early Plouffe is their man. if they think maybe they need a new big name, big dollar type of game Parmelee may be the face of the future. Maybe their is a way they can combine the two? I wonder what that would look like.
All kidding aside I think the Twins do need to look at who they are? I really think they had a slight identity crisis this past season.
I think they have most of the pieces; they just need another pitcher or two from the free agent pool.
One bright spot is next season can’t be any worse.