Thursday, May 4, 2017

Minnesota Mailbox: Twins Three Bagger

With the Minnesota Twins continuing to play good baseball into the month of May, the 2017 Major League Baseball season has gotten off to an exciting start. The club looks like some young stars are beginning to blossom, and Ervin Santana has been nothing short of incredible. With the bulk of the season left ahead of us, I asked for some Twins questions recently on Twitter (follow here).

Getting away from the typical analysis a bit, here's a three bagger of Minnesota Twins questions that readers had.
This is an interesting one, and a case where sample sizes come into play. Palka was on a tear through his first 16 games, slashing .311/.373/.590 with five homers. Since, he's got just a .302 OPS over the course of his past seven games, and his line now rests at .253/.309/.460. He's probably never going to hit much more than .260, but if he can boost the walks some, he'll even out the strikeouts he's going to rack up. Palka has legitimate power, and is probably a more refined version of Adam Brett Walker.

He'll get a shot with the Twins sometime in 2017, but it's farther down the road than what may have been initially imagined.

Right now, Miguel Sano is on pace to club right around 50 homers. I wouldn't think that's out of the question at some point in his career, but I don't foresee it happening in 2017. I tabbed him for right around 35 homers and continue to think that's realistic.

He's not the .300 hitter he's started out as, but it sure appears he's got a stronger grasp on the strike zone. While the strikeouts are still there, he's drawing walks in bunches, and more importantly, he's working counts to his favor. Sano is blossoming, and it's going to be fun to watch.

As far as who commands the clubhouse, I think Dozier has long since taken the torch from Mauer. Sano is relating well to his teammates however, and will continue to develop as a leader.

I really like this question, but am not certain it provides a real exciting answer. There's no doubt Ervin Santana will still be around, and Hector Santiago stands to be as well. By June, I'd be shocked if Jose Berrios isn't in the fold, and that leaves Kyle Gibson and Phil Hughes to round things out.

There should be real concern in regards to Hughes and his health. The velocity has been up and down, and while the Twins have won for him, he's been far from great. I'd like to see him trend upwards a bit more, but that's somewhat of a wait and see. Gibson just can't seem to right the ship, but I'm not sure what you do with him. I don't believe his stuff plays up in the pen, so I guess he could go back to Triple-A, but what a disaster that would be.

Should the Twins need another arm outside of Berrios, they could go back to Adalberto Mejia, turn to Nick Tepesch, or even (and I hope not) bring Tyler Duffey back into the rotation.