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2011 MLB Season in Review: Minnesota Twins


While we wait for the St. Louis Cardinals to finish their 2011 season, we will shift our focus to the American League Central. We start there with the last place Minnesota Twins. I cannot believe we are actually saying that put with a number on injuries the Twins really got kicked around this year. I think if they get healthy this season becomes a statistical abnormality, but for 2011 they were among the worst teams in the junior league.

The Twins were only able to go 30-42 against the four other teams in their division. They were 9-9 against the Chicago White Sox, and 10-8 against the once lowly Kansas City Royals but the Detroit Tigers and upstart Cleveland Indians really took their toll on the Twins. The Twins were just 11-15 against those two team, managing to beat the Tigers only four times. 

The curios thing here is they traded Delmon Young to the Tigers late in the season. Granted Young was not exactly setting the world on fire there, and there may have been questions about their ability to resign him and keep him a happy, productive member of the organization. 

In all the Twins scored 619 runs, second fewest in their league, and racked up 1,357 hits. The team batting average was .247, and we have to wonder if being outside now is hurting this team. We do not have enough data to make that assumption yet, so we are left to surmise that the injuries took their toll on this team and they were outmatched by a couple of young teams on their way up the MLB power rankings. 

Since none of their starting pitcher were able to secure double digit victories we can safely assume that pitching is this team's most major concern. They gave up 804 runs, and the staff ERA was 4.58. Again that was second worst so we are seeing a combination of a power outage in the lineup with lackluster starting pitching as the main culprits for a team that won just 63 games. Only starter Scott Baker has a sub 4.00 ERA, and this staff finished in the bottom third in every measurable stat category. 

I also wonder if we are not seeing a team on the verge of seeing their championship window closing. Most of the pitching staff is under 30, but a lot of the position players are aging. I am, not saying they are old I am just saying something went terribly wrong in Minnesota this year and the numbers suggest it was more than just the injury bug. 

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