Skip to main content

Studies show playoff experience doesn't matter, and that's great news for the Twins

Even Ervin Santana hasn't pitched in the playoffs in nearly a decade.

Only seven players on the Twins' 40-man roster have tasted postseason baseball before. 

That's alarming considering the Twins are on track to play the playoff-tested Yankees in a one game Wild Card playoff next Tuesday. But does postseason experience really matter?

The answer is no, according to a 2014 study by the now defunct Grantland

“There is no evidence that postseason experience has any effect on players in the postseason over and above their previously established talent levels,” Grantland research specialist Russell Carleton wrote. “The idea that postseason experience confers some sort of advantage on a player or team is not supported by the data. If it were true, we would see some sort of departure from what we would otherwise expect based on regular-season stats. It’s not there.”

Grantland's research pointed to other studies that found similar results. That's great news for the Twins because they flat out don't have much experience at all. Only seven players on the Twins' 40-man roster have been to the playoffs before. 

  1. Bartolo Colon: 17 games, last appearance in 2015
  2. Joe Mauer: 9 games, last appearance in 2010
  3. Ervin Santana: 8 games, last appearance in 2009
  4. Jason Castro: 6 games, last appearance in 2015
  5. Chris Gimenez: 2 games, last appearance in 2015
  6. Matt Belisle: 2 games, last appearance in 2009
  7. Glen Perkins: 1 game, last appearance in 2006

The Twins needn't look further than their 44-year-old pitcher for proof. 

Way back in 1998, Colon beat the Red Sox at Fenway Park in his first career postseason start. Six days later he pitched a complete game to beat the Yankees. 

In 1999 he struck out 11 Red Sox to lead Cleveland to a win in Game 1 of the ALDS, and then got killed by Boston in Game 4, giving up 7 runs before being pulled with nobody out in the second inning.

The playoffs are all about one-on-one matchups. Sometimes the hitter wins, sometimes the pitcher wins. It really is that simple.

Next Up

Chris Autman-Bell

Gophers keep division title hopes alive, throttle Indiana

Chris Autman-Bell caught two touchdowns in a 35-14 victory over the Hoosiers.

u.s. attorney

New Hope man found guilty in fatal hit-and-run

Said Maye was found guilty of unintentional second-degree murder in Hennepin County District Court.

Screen Shot 2021-11-20 at 8.00.04 AM

4 children missing from home in Twin Cities are found safe

Police are seeking help finding the four siblings.

Robert Dale Veldkamp and Derek Jon Haehnel, state trooper

2 state troopers die of cancer within two days of each other

Rob Veldkamp and Derek Haehnel were 49 and 36, respectively.

Jamal Smith

Accused Hwy 169 shooter loses phone privileges over alleged witness tampering

Jamal Smith is charged with fatally shooting a youth coach this past July.

pixabay - covid vaccine record card

COVID-19 booster shots now available to all Minnesota adults

Gov. Tim Walz's announcement qualifies around 1.7 million people in Minnesota for a booster shot.

Willians Astudillo

Twins release Astudillo, add Lewis, Miranda to 40-man roster

The Twins also signed Jake Cave to a one-year deal.

bentleyville lights duluth 2020 - Kristian's Photos Flickr

Welcome back, Bentleyville: Beloved Tour of Lights returns

The Duluth event is back to being a walkthrough show this year.

Lake COuntry Power linemen photo - 11.17.21

Woman rescued from icy water by men who spotted overturned car

Her car hit a slick spot, went off the road, and flipped — landing in 4 feet of water.

Screen Shot 2020-08-01 at 9.18.10 AM

Felon gets 14.5 years in prison following road rage incident

Authorities found drugs and weapons in his truck following the crash.


3 reasons why the Twins shouldn't trade Ervin Santana

Bartolo Colon might have an indication of whether Ervin Santana stays or goes.

3 reasons why the Twins shouldn't trade Ervin Santana

Bartolo Colon might have an indication of whether Ervin Santana stays or goes.

Trade deadline day: Twins, Nats talking Kintzler, report says

Brandon Kintzler, Brian Dozier and Ervin Santana could all be dealt.

Updating the Twins' playoff chances

Losing eight of 12 after the All-Star break puts the Twins in a tight situation.

What the Twins' playoff rotation could look like if they reach the ALDS

First they have to win the Wild Card, then it gets really interesting.

Vegas win totals suggest Twins will be in the playoff race

Is 84 1/2 wins too high, too low or just right for the Twins?

Everything you need to know about tonight's Twins-Yankees playoff game

Brian Dozier: "Reach back a little bit and take your game to the next level."