Random Thoughts on the Minnesota Twins

AlexAnalyst IMay 28, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 17:  Denard Span #2 of the Minnesota Twins bats against the New York Yankees on May 17, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. The Yankees defeated the Twins 3-2 in ten innings.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

** What Joe Mauer is doing currently is hard to fathom. After hitting nine home runs last season in over 500 at-bats, he has hit nine in under 80 at-bats, and in less than a full month of play.

Mauer is on pace to hit over 60 home runs. While that surely won't happen, it's amazing how fast he's turned into a league-leading slugger.

** While Mauer has amazed the entire baseball world, Justin Morneau's numbers have been overlooked. Morneau is hitting near .350, he's second in the American League with 14 home runs.

He leads the league in OPS, and he's in the top five in slugging percentage and RBIs. The former MVP is on pace to break all of his career highs, which is pretty good considering he drove in 129 runners last season.

** Seeing Joe Crede and Michael Cuddyer finally heat up is a welcome sign for the team's lineup. Crede won't hit for a high average, but if he can continue with his power and stays healthy, a 20-plus home run season could be in store.

Cuddyer, meanwhile, is reminding everybody why the team signed him to a big extension prior to last season. He's been on fire and is on pace to hit 28 home runs and drive in 109 runners.

** Francisco Liriano and Scott Baker to say the least have been frustrating to watch. Both have shown signs of being the ace that the team is looking for, but right when it seems like they've finally figured it out, along comes the big inning.

Baker's biggest problem has been the one big number in the middle of innings, but Liriano's problems seem to be his composure. A leadoff hit or walk seems to take away Liriano's control, and he never seems the same after.

** While the team's two "top" pitchers have been hard-to-watch, two of their youngsters, Slowey and Blackburn, have pitched very well.

Blackburn has the best ERA in the rotation, and Slowey has started to become the pitcher everybody envisioned him becoming last season.

If Swarzak does anything remotely close to what he did in his debut, he could be the pitching addition the team needs.

** On a final note, the bullpen. It's been hard to watch the team blow leads, but things have seemed a little better at least recently.

It could have a lot to due with the long outings from the starters, but maybe the bullpen is slightly improving. The team does still need to make some sort of addition to help stabilize the eighth inning.