Apr 28, 2021 - News

What's wrong with the Minnesota Twins

A baseball player puts his hand over his face

Alex Colomé reacts after giving up a three-run home run against the Seattle Mariners on April 11. Photo: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins, picked by most analysts to make the playoffs before the season started, have the second worst record in baseball through their first 22 games.

The big picture: After a 7-15 start, fans are debating whether the Twins are unlucky or just plain bad.

On the one hand: The team can't seem to catch a break.

  • Injuries and a COVID outbreak have kept some of their best players sidelined for stretches, including Max Kepler, Josh Donaldson, Byron Buxton and Andrelton Simmons.
  • The Twins have lost all five of their extra-innings games this season.
  • Based on their Pythagorean winning percentage, which is an estimate of a team's winning percentage given their runs scored and runs allowed, the team should have two more wins.

Yes, but: The Twins have also played terribly.

  • Their newly acquired closer, Alexander Colomé, has blown three saves and, by a measure called Win Probability Added, cost the team about two losses. That's the most of any reliever in MLB history, according to Aaron Gleeman of the Athletic.
  • Several Twins hitters have struggled, most notably Miguel Sano, Jorge Polanco and Mitch Garver, all of whom are batting under .200.

Reasons for hope: Starting pitching has been solid and the Twins have plenty of bullpen arms to keep Colomé away from another close game.

  • Plus, Byron Buxton, Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz are mashing.

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