How The Minnesota Twins Need To Improve

Sam TastadCorrespondent IIIMay 12, 2009

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 2:  Justin Morneau #33 of the Minnesota Twins is met at home by teammates Michael Cuddyer #5 and Joe Mauer #5 after hitting a three run home run in the eigth inning against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium September 2, 2006 in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Twins defeated the Yankees 6 to 1.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Last Saturday, I went to my first Twins game of the year. I was very excited that they played well, both offensively and defensively, and won.

The Minnesota Twins are off to a 15-17 start and are currently three games back in the division to Kansas City. For the Twins to win the division, they will have to improve a little bit to be a better team.

First, The Twins need to bolster their bullpen with guys that can hold leads and get the starters the victory. Joe Nathan does the most and excels at what he does. However, the Twins must find reliable middle relievers and a set-up man. Jose Mijares has pitched well since being called up, but has struggled. All of the current relievers have had their moments, but have also had their struggles.

Here’s what the Twins need to do: call-up a young pitcher, find a free agent pitcher or trade for a young pitcher. Sean Penn would be an option from Triple-A Rochester, where he has posted a 1.35 ERA, recorded four saves, and struck out 24 batters in 20 innings of work. 

The Twins could also sign Mike Timlin, who is currently a free agent. He has a career 3.63 ERA, and over 1,200 innings pitched. The Twins could also trade for a relief pitcher.

The Twins have a good rotation, and if I was Gardy or Bill Smith, I wouldn’t mess that up. They have what it takes to be a successful and consistent rotation in the MLB.

The Twins are solid at catcher, first base, designated hitter, and third base.

The outfield remains a question mark because they have four outfielders who have all shown promise. If I was Gardy, I would let Span and Cuddyer start, while letting Gomez and Young switch off every game or so. 

Shortstop and second base are the next big holes. Alexi Casilla was recently sent to the minors to regain his confidence and game back. Matt Tolbert was sent up to the majors for him. Tolbert has played alright, but needs to step up and not go down the same trail that Casilla took early in the season.

Nick Punto and Brendan Harris are sharing time at shortstop, but Harris is actually producing on offense, rather than just defense—like Punto usually does.

Expect the Twins to continue with their present line-up in the hopes of winning the division. It will be an interesting rest of the season. You won’t want to miss it!