Doubters remain, but Twins are one of MLB's biggest surprises

Author:
Updated:
Original:

The Minnesota Twins... scratch that...

The first-place Minnesota Twins look to continue their charge up baseball's leaderboards when they begin a weekend series against the high-powered Toronto Blue Jays at Target Field Friday night.

Minnesota's 28-18 start to the season is impressive as is, but considering they were 1-6 through the first week of the regular season makes the ensuing 27-12 run all the more impressive.

If not for the Houston Astros, owners of the only record in the American League more impressive than Minnesota's, the Twins would be USA Today's surprise team of the season, thus far.

"Winners of five straight to pull into a tie with the Royals atop the AL Central, Minnesota entered the weekend with no regular hitting above .280 or with an on-base percentage above .348. Their supposed ace, Phil Hughes, has a 4.57 ERA. Their major free-agent acquisition, Ervin Santana, was suspended for 80 games because of a drug violation. Their $49-million bust from a year ago, Ricky Nolasco, has a 5.12 ERA and is allowing 1.611 walks and hits per inning pitched — yet is somehow 5-1. Since being outscored 22-1 in a season-opening sweep at the hands of the Tigers, they have scored 190 runs and allowed 190 runs — and somehow gone 28-15. Plus, their bevy of prime prospects — outfielder Byron Buxton, third baseman Miguel Sano and right-hander Alex Meyer — remain in the minors. No, nothing makes sense about these Twins."

Minnesota's winning ways didn't spill over in the early voting results for this summer's All-Star Game. Not one Twin was listed in the top five of any position for American Leaguers. But MLB.com took notice and listed Trevor Plouffe on a short list of players deserving All-Star recognition.

"I don't think it's surprised us at all," Plouffe said in an interview with Fox Sports North. "We knew we had the potential to have a pretty good team. I think what's been going on with us is we've had good pitching, good timely hitting. We've played good defense. When you line those three things up, we're going to start winning games."

Grantland: Twins' success won't last

The Debbie Downer for the day comes from Grantland, where a lot of number-crunching and sabremetrics were employed to make fans think the surge the Twins' are enjoying won't last. Basically, the Twins have a bunch of players are overachieving in areas where they historically have either struggled or performed at a lesser caliber.

Next Up

coronavirus

Nov. 30 COVID-19 update: Hospitalizations reach new high mark

There are fewer than 100 staffed ICU beds available in Minnesota.

TCF Bank Stadium

Saturday's Gophers-Northwestern game canceled

Minnesota is dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak in its football program.

frances mosley vandals

Minneapolis woman's home vandalized for a 7th time since March

The most recent incident happened on Thanksgiving.

Grand Cafe

Jamie Malone's Grand Cafe is closing, building owners say

Head chef Jamie Malone will continue operations at Eastside.

softball

High school softball coach accused of stealing booster funds

The 65-year-old is a coach at Lakeville South High School.

police lights

Suspect leads police on 26-mile pursuit in Meeker County

When the suspect stopped, he tried to get out of his car with a shotgun in hand.

Screen Shot 2020-11-30 at 7.41.02 AM

Human remains found at Albert Lea building where 3 people where shot

Authorities say the human remains are not related to the shooting.

DirecTV

DirecTV subscribers could lose KARE 11 on Tuesday

A new contract needs to be agreed upon by 6 p.m. Tuesday.

prison, Rush City cell block

Inmate from Rush City prison dies after COVID-19 diagnosis

The man is the fifth incarcerated person in Minnesota to die from COVID-19.

Related