Minnesota Twins 2017 Bounce Back Similar to 2015 Season
As May draws to a close the Minnesota Twins have built an impressive first two months in the 2017 edition. It certainly pushes 2016’s debacle into the dust bin.
However, fans of the club would more fondly remember the team of 2015 which fought all the way to the final week of the season before falling short of a wild card slot.
Similarities through the first stages of both seasons are striking. In both April campaigns Minnesota was right around the .500 mark.
May 2015 was better comparatively as a whole. The main thrust came from 13 wins just at home on the way to a 20-7 record winning 7 out of 8 games to close the month.
This year with a week to go in the month there are already 7 losses on the board, but there is an interesting mirror image to note. After 42 games the Twins’ record was 24-18 in both years.
Among the starting pitching comparisons, the ’15 Twins through the first two months were led by the 5-1 mark for Ricky Nolasco. He admittedly got a lot of run support on the way to winning his first 5 May starts.
Ervin Santana (8-2) has two complete game shutouts this season. Along the way Santana has emerged as an early Cy Young candidate.
Both teams can also lay claim to have dependable closers. Glen Perkins was virtually untouchable in early 2015 and saved 19 games in the first two months. Brandon Kintzler has his stamp on 11 such games so far this year.
An intangible from that 2015 team was the influence of Torii Hunter who finished his career in a Twins uniform. He finished second on the team in home runs and runs batted in, but his leadership kept the team focused throughout that year.
This year Joe Mauer is the seasoned veteran, but it’s safe to say that a lot of the heavy lifting offensively is coming from the younger folk. Four players that are 25 or younger compose the nucleus of immense potential in Miguel Sano, Max Kepler, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco.
Can they keep it up or is a crash coming? It will happen between the lines, but current optimism in the face of last year’s poor showing is a much better alternative.