With a mere 20 games left to play "dome baseball," the Twins are showing signs of life towards the end of the 2009 season. It's coming without some of the Twins' big players.
With a rearranged lineup and a questionable pitching staff, the Twins have turned it around as of late, sweeping the Royals in Kansas City on the eve of returning back to the Metrodome for a home-stand against the Orioles.
In the KC series, a lot of players made an impact in the wake of all the injuries. Cuddyer had a two home run inning and Pavano shut the door to earn the sweep on Sunday. Casilla has proved himself at second base with a re-energized bat and stellar defense, and Cabrera has been hitting very well as of late.
The big star has to be Mauer. Hitting right under .380, he seems a shoe-in for yet another batting title. It couldn't have come at a better time: the Twins need all the leadership they can get with the current absence of Morneau.
At the same time, let's not get ahead of ourselves; the Twins need to do a few more things before they can plan a trip to the playoffs.
The most important move would be to send Liriano to the bullpen. He'll be on the DL for awhile with a tired arm, but when he returns, he should be sitting in the 'pen. Liriano's biggest troubles this year came from the proverbial "big inning." Coming in for the middle innings with a good amount of rest could give the Twins an effective lefty reliever down the stretch in the 'Sisco Kid.
If Liriano can return to form in the bullpen and the veteran leaders can...well...lead, then the Twins have a good chance of coming out of the less-than-stellar AL Central on top.
With a nice long homestead and the return of Morneau to look forward to, the Twins could ride the coattails of this sweep right into the playoffs.