Minnesota has added a couple of big names back to the everyday lineup, including Joe Mauer, Tsuyoshi Nishioka, and most recently, Jim Thome.
The problem is, they are not producing the way they were expected to at the beginning of the year.
Mauer is sitting at a .206 BA, about 100 points below his career numbers.
Nishioka was expected to adjust quickly to the American game and hit much better than a .224 BA. Plus, his six errors in the field have yielded criticism from the media.
Thome has seen limited action this season. Following a heroic 2010 campaign, big things were expected from the wily left-handed veteran. He has only played in 31 games, hitting just .238.
The biggest problem in all three situations is Mauer's performance. He has been thrown back into the fire following an injury, but as the star of the team, he is expected to handle it. Mauer has never dealt with this level of adversity in his pro career.
If he, and the other under-performing veterans, can handle the adversity and begin to thrive in the second half of the season, the Twins will still have a chance in the AL Central.