The number sticks out like a sore thumb: 103, the number of games the Twins lost in 2016 – a franchise worst.
"I know in my heart that we're not a 100-loss team," Twins reliever Glen Perkins said in an interview with GoMN Sports during TwinsFest. "There's just no way we're that bad."
They were that bad. They hope they're not that bad this year.
"We expect better things. Just off the top, having a little better luck and balls bouncing our way," said Perkins. "I think the talent that we have and the maturation that we saw from some younger guys should help us going forward. Hopefully we'll be competitive this year and give ourselves a chance like we did two years ago."
FanGraphs projected the Twins at 71-72 wins. In other words, FanGraphs thinks the Twins will lose 90 games for the sixth time in seven years.
"We got a few pieces, we added a few and I think we're going to add a couple more in the next month or so," Brian Dozier explained to GoMN Sports. "But we did lose 103 games. Something has to give there. We're very talented but we gotta implement that on the field ... and I think we will."
Minnesota's biggest offseason acquisition has been catcher Jason Castro. They've yet to address bullpen concerns, although La Velle Neal III reported Monday the Twins are interested in veteran righty Joe Blanton and lefty Boone Logan.
Perkins not sure he'll be ready for the opener
Glen Perkins could be Minnesota's closer this season, but he's still not 100 percent health following shoulder surgery that ended his 2016 season early. Perkins said he's been throwing at about 75 percent effort at 120 feet in recent weeks.
"I think I'm something like a week or 10 days out from being on the mound," said Perkins, while adding that he expects to be slightly behind schedule when pitchers and catchers report to spring training Feb. 15.
"I haven't thrown off a mound yet so I have no idea what to expect. All I know is that I've been able to check every box in my rehab so far, so hopefully I'll be able to keep checking those boxes."