To say the Minnesota Twins were a disappointment during the first half of the season would be an understatement. Their dismal 36-49 record before the All-Star break was nothing to brag about. The Twins are currently 12 games back and in last place in the division.
However, the Twins still have some bright spots in their lineup and things to be looking forward to for the rest of the season.
Joe Mauer is quietly batting .328 and is finally having the “Mauer-type” season that everyone has come to expect from him since he signed the massive contract last year. With a bit of luck, Minnesota Twins fans may be looking at this year’s American League batting champion. If he continues to bat like this, Minnesotans will finally be thankful that the Twins signed him for many years to come.
The woes of Justin Morneau have also been well documented. Since Morneau suffered a debilitating concussion, fans only have memories of the dominant player he was in 2006 when he was AL MVP and in 2008 when he finished second in voting. However, Morneau has 39 RBI on the season. If he has a good second half of the season, Morneau could potentially have 90 RBI on the season and could draw a few trade rumors to help rebuild the organization.
The starting CF position has also been up for debate in the eyes of many Minnesota Twins fans. Ben Revere has been playing dominantly. He is batting .317 but more importantly he is making outstanding plays in center field. Denard Span, batting a .278, could prove to be valuable trade material if the Minnesota Twins decide to go with Revere as an everyday player in center field.
Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham both have proved to be nice additions to the Twins. Plouffe has 19 homeruns on the season. Willingham has 22 homeruns and is the team-leader in RBIs with 64. Both players should be able to double those numbers and finish with 40+ homeruns on the season. Willingham should easily be able to surpass 100 RBI.
Infielder Jamey Carroll was brought to the Minnesota Twins to be a leader and to bring a solid bat and glove to a team in dire need of consistency. Carroll has done just that. Carroll has a .313 OBP and has delivered again and again in the field. Look for Carroll to continue a good year and be a leader to the team. He may even hit his first homerun since 2009.
Pitcher Scott Diamond is, surprisingly, the team leader in wins with seven and has a 2.62 ERA. All fans continue to hope that Diamond truly is a “diamond in the rough”.
Young pitchers Cole De Vries and P.J. Walters will look to make a big enough impression on the organization to make the roster full-time next season. Both pitchers have shown that they will be contending for starting spots next season.
Francisco Liriano has finally started to find his form, striking out 15 batters in a losing effort against the Athletics earlier last week. Carl Pavano should return from the disabled list soon, and hopefully the Twins are able to pick which pitchers they plan to keep for long-haul. The second half of this season will definitely be the make or break period for the “Liriano Project” the Twins have been working on since his sensational rookie debut in 2006.
With not much to be happy about, fans must be happy with some of the things the Twins are doing to help put themselves in a position to win next season. However, I do think that the Twins will bounce back enough to finish third place in the division and avoid a last place finish, giving themselves plenty of steam for next season.
We’ll have to see during the second half of the 2012 season.