The Minnesota Twins mission in 2021, which is repeated as AL Central champions, officially begins on April 1 when the team fights at Milwaukee Brewers on opening day.
After the end of the season 36-24 of the regular season in 2020, which ended with another disappointing post-season momentum – this time in the hands of the Houston Astros – the pressure is on the Gemini to make a deep season in the 2021 season.
To help with that, many celebrities will return to the twin cities, including sloth Nelson Cruz, but Minnesota has branched out and signed Alex Colome, JA Happ and Andrelton Simmons in a free agency to provide a bit of veteran support to their core.
Here are five important questions about the Minnesota 2021 twins:
1) How do Nelson Cruz and Josh Donaldson support themselves throughout the season?
Minnesota has agreed to a $ 13 million one-year deal with Cruz, who turns 41 in July, returning this season as a team striker. Cruz was outstanding in a 60-game season in 2020, hitting .303 with 16 home games, 33 RBIs and 33 runs in 53 games, so there are no clear signs that a drop is on the horizon, but that doesn’t mean the cliff isn’t approaching . Although aging athletes have managed to better defend Father Time in recent years, players in their 40s are risky bets. Any minor injury could represent a career, even for a wonderful stopper napping in foreplay. Speaking of aging athletes with past injuries, Minnesota didn’t see much production from Donaldson last season due to a painful calf injury that limited the third baseman to just 28 games. However, Donaldson played in 155 competitions with the Atlanta Braves last season, so Twins fans are hoping he will be able to keep coming back to the field one more time. If both he and Cruz miss a significant amount of time or experience a drop, the Minnesota squad would be in trouble.
2) How does the back of the rotation shake?
Unless some kind of blockbuster happens, Kent Maeda and Jose Berrios will be the first two twin pitchers. Maeda was excellent in his first campaign with Minnesota (2.70 ERA, 10 walks, 80 attacks, 0.750 WHIP), while Berrios was more inconsistent (4.00 ERA, 26 walks, 68 attacks, 1,317 WHIP) ,, he showed up in Minnesota’s 3-1 defeat in Game 2 of the Houston Astros in the playoffs and has proven more in past full seasons. Michael Pineda thinks he’s the obvious No. 3 player after a strong finish last season, so who rounds out the rest of the rotation? The decision of the twins to sign 38-year-old JA Happ on a one-year deal of 8 million dollars means that they will be the fourth pitcher. So, who grabs fifth place? Matt Shoemaker was brought in before spring training to compete. The shoemaker has been healthy and healthy for the past four seasons, registering a combined record of 11-6, 4.12 ERA and 8.2 K / 9 in 32 starts. The only problem is that since 2016, it has not placed in more than 78 innings. His biggest competition will be Randy Dobnak, who went 6-4 with a 4.05 ERA in 2020 after spending a good part of the season towards the top of the MLB ERA rankings. Given that the Chicago White Sox and Cleveland Indians should be strong competition at AL Central, solid starters no. 4 and 5 could be the difference in the division championship and the wild card game.
3) How much will we see from Alex Kirilloff and Brent Rooker?
Well, we answered part of this question before the first pitch of the 2021 season was thrown. After hitting .129 in spring training (4 for 31), Kirilloff was selected last week as an alternative training ground for the Twins, meaning the 2021 season will begin away from the big league club. Although hated by players these days, Minnesota could keep Kirilloff in the minor leagues for a few months to gain a year of service. The Rooker, however, has a great chance of entering the list of 26 people and is a contender to start from the left field. The Rooker hit .316 last season with six goals and a home race in 21 appearances on the board and is looking for his first extended stay at The Show to prove he belongs. He fought with Jake Cave and Kyle Garlick for the starting role on the left, although at least two of those players should make the opening day roster. Kirilloff should still make his contribution in 2021, but not as quickly as many would have hoped.
4) What is the effect of Andrelton Simmons?
Simmons is the best defensive shortcut in the recent history of MLB. The preserved metrics of FanGraphs’ defensive runs have Simmons at +191 (statistics were first tracked in 2002), far above the second on the list – former Twins twins Adam Everett (+119). Although Simmons has an average of 269 shots in his career, some say he is worthy of his defensive strength Consideration of the Hall of Fame, so if it continues to sharpen on the field in 2021, then Minnesota should see a few smaller series scored by its opponents. In addition, Simmons hit 0.297 with the Los Angeles Angels last season (also, 292 in 2018), so his glove won’t be the only positive he brings to Minnesota. On paper, Simmons ’signing on a one-year deal worth $ 10.5 million is a“ dunk ”as it adds an elite defender and a decent kick, and moves Jorge Polanc to a better spot at second base.
5) Can the twins win the playoffs?
For most fans of the twins, creating a deep play-off barometer series is a success this season. But first, just one win of the season would be good. The Twins have lost 18 consecutive playoff games since 2004. Unfortunately, this is the longest such series in North American professional sports. Minnesota obviously has (and had) the talent to win the playoffs, but that just didn’t happen. Whether it goes against far superior teams, terrible calls or costly mistakes, it all added up where the string is now. In fact, the only other MLB team that hasn’t won a playoff in that range are the Seattle Mariners – and they haven’t even reached the postseason since 2001. It’s not exactly the best keeping company. Divisional banners are great, but when you achieve success in the off-season it may not be as hollow for many in the fan base. Let’s hope it (finally) changes in 2021.