The Twins would meet the official midpoint of the season on Saturday, and due to the rain between Cleveland and the New York Yankees on Friday night, they were guaranteed to reach it with at least a half-game lead in the American League Central.
If you had proposed to him when the lockdown ended on March 7, said Derek Falvey, Twins president of baseball operations, he would have replied, “‘Sign me up.’ every day of the week.”
“On that part, we should be proud of, or be happy with, that,” he said. “But we’re not very happy, right? We want to do more, and in the end, halfway through doesn’t matter.”
In what matters after the season, something the Twins were expected to do when the season finally began on April 7, and after holding at least a portion of the Central Division lead for 70 of 79 games, the team was officially Looking for ways to improve. Aug 2 trading deadline.
“Our approach is how do we find a way to play consistently? How do we engage in the team both internally and externally as we move into the July-August phase?” Falve said on Friday.
As is usually the case with all competing teams, the Twins are on the lookout for pitching, though mostly for their overtaxes and injury-prone bullpen. In one of the biggest games of the season on Thursday in Cleveland, the Twins were down to travelman Tyler Thornberg in the ninth inning of a tie game – and he left a walk-off home run in a 5-3 loss to the team’s nearest division rival.
Overall, the twin relievers have been decent, despite throwing 317⅓ innings with an average of a collective 3.87 earned runs, ranking 16th, the fourth-highest among the majors. But the Twins lost 5 of 8 games against Cleveland from June 21 to Thursday, albeit with a loss in each of them. In addition, there were eight potential bullpen weapons on Friday’s injured list of the twins – George Alcala, Cody Stashak, Randy Dobnac, John Romero, Danny Coulombe, Bailey Ober, Trevor Megill and Joe Smith.
Thornberg, who signed a minor league deal in June, was named for a Friday morning release or assignment and was replaced on the active roster by Juan Minaya – one of 28 pitchers the Twins have already used this season. have been Right-hander Emilio Pagan, who leads the team with nine saves but has two impressive saves and a 22.09 ERA in the last five games, has been ruled out of high-gain positions for the time being.
While Falvey said the short parts of a long season may seem more important to him, especially if they are bad stretches, he admitted the bullpen could use help. It could come from minors, the injured list or the business market – or simply from pitching better than existing relievers. Tyler Duffy, for example, has recovered from a tough stretch with six consecutive pointless performances.
“Some people are not throwing the ball as well as they want to; they have to step up and pitch better,” Falvey said. “But we need to help them do that, right? It’s about coaching, it’s about planning, it’s about identifying things. Because many of these people have had success before, and we have to find ways to get them back there.
“And we also have to find ways to supplement the group, if necessary, over the course of the next month.”