Updated: Nov 21, 2020
It's time to look back at every team from around the MLB and what they showed us during the 60 game sprint!
Before getting into it, let's talk World Series for a moment. Friday the Dodgers got out to an early lead with the Justin Turner HR, Muncy H, Barnes SF, Betts H had them up by 6 in the 4th knocking Charlie Morton and showing us that even Charlie is human. Buehler went to work on the Rays offense going 6IP, giving up 3H, 1ER, 1BB, and 10K. The pen then was able to back it up and the offense to get the 2-1 lead.
Game 4 was just fun to watch on Saturday. Turner and Seager HR got the Dodgers up 2-1 against Ryan Yarbrough(3.1IP, 5H, 2ER, 1BB, 1K). Then it was Arozarena up to get the offense going with an HR that gave him the HR record and the Rookie H record in the 4th off of Julio Urias(4.2IP, 4H, 2ER, 1BB, 9K). The strikeouts are hurting the Rays in these games so far. After both starters were out by the end of the 5th, the game was 3-2 Dodgers. Then the 6th ended, and it was 5-4 Rays. 7th ended, and it was 6-6. Come to the end of the 8th, 7-6 Dodgers. Skip to 2:34 and 4:00 to see what happened next https://youtu.be/a4qCFgzysF8 it was awesome, and the Rays were able to pull off some heroics in the 9th to win 8-7
Then we had one more game to finish the weekend. Game 5, and we saw Kershaw continue to rewrite his postseason legacy. He went 5.2 gave up 2ER on the Yandy Diaz triple and Arozarena single. The single for Arozarena set a post-season record for hits at 28. Kershaw then only gave up 2BB and got 6K and only threw 85pitches, and when he was pulled, Dodgers fans booed Dave Roberts for pulling Kershaw, who moved to 4-1 with the win. Seager, Bellinger Pederson, and Muncy were all the offense the Dodgers needed to take a 3-2 series lead. Game 6 will feature Blake Snell against Tony Gonsolin and the pen on Tuesday after a day off Monday.
We are going to explore a few things for each team: Review in-season transactions, what we learned, what we loved, what we didn't love, the most significant need(s), and lastly, the biggest takeaways.
Let's jump over the AL with the Minnesota Twins today. We talked about the Padres, A's, Marlins, Yankee's, Cardinals, Whitesox, and Cubs so far; you can find all posts on the homepage.
What moves did the 2020 Twins make?
The Bomba's squad was back at it again in 2020. The most significant move they had to deal with was the injuries to Donaldson some Covid-19. The team made an off-season move for Kenta Maeda that worked out for them. The team finished off the year at 36-24, well off from my prediction of 41-19. But they still had a first-place finish.
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What did we love about the 2020 Twins?
We loved seeing Ol Nelson Cruz still get it done, hitting .303 with 16HR and 33RBI; he is a finalist for the Hank Aaron Award. It was a season for him and teammate Eddie Rosario who hit a meh .257 but with 13HR and 42RBI. The offense was perfect for the Twins, and we all enjoyed that. We also really enjoyed the CY Young caliber performance from Maeda, who pitched to a 2.70ERA, 80K's, and an impressive 10.8 K/9. I also really liked what we saw from Rich Hill, and Michael Pineda as both pitched 3.38ERA or lower. Overall for the Twins, we saw many good but not enough to get them deeper into the Playoffs.
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What did we not love about the 2020 Twins?
Despite a .204BA, Miguel Sano also showed well for the Twins hitting 13HR but only 25RBI. Sano's BA, among others, did lead the team to a team .242 BA. The offense slashed to a .242BA/.315OBP/.427Slug. The line is surprising as each number isn't even close to average. Overall the offense couldn't get on base, but they did enough every day out hitting a serviceable .743OPS. Take away the performances from Matt Wisler, Tyler Duffey, and Tyler Clippard in the bullpen; the rest of the staff struggled. This performance, along with injuries along the way, help this team back from more, but it wasn't awful as the pitching did fare well pitching to a 3.58ERA, 1.20WHIP. Again this team wasn't elite, but they did just enough to squeak out the wins. While they got exposed in the playoffs, hitting .119/.246/.153 slash line tells you how well this team did even getting on base during the playoffs and couldn't pick up the excellent pitching who only have up 4ER during their appearance in the playoffs.
What do the 2021 Twins need?
More Nelson Cruz, Cruz's problem is 40 going on 41 next July and is due for a raise from his 12Mil contract in 2020. Do the Twins want to pay their best offensive player will be a big question and story to follow. The Twins were let down by the pen and offense this season; look for them to address both those needs during the offseason. To me, the fit is a Michael Brantly, someone who can get on base and give the line up another threat.
The biggest takeaway from the 2020 Twins?
The offensive struggles need to be addressed. The low team batting average lost them some close games because they couldn't get guys home. The Twins have almost all the pieces to compete in the division; get this team another quality bullpen arm and another offensive weapon, and they are good to go. The Twins hitting home runs isn't a problem and shouldn't be going into 2021. The division got a lot tougher with the emergence of the WhiteSox. The Twins will need to spend to keep up.
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