@DerekWetmore: I know you’re an optimistic guy. And I saw you catching some smoke online for your belief in the Twins, after a drubbing by the Astros. So let me just ask you. Where are you on this Twins team right now?
@PhilMackey: Where am I at with the Twins? Does the #ITSHAPPENING t-shirt I’ve been wearing — unwashed — for the last two weeks give you a clue? In all seriousness, this Twins lineup is legit, and they have an ace-caliber starter paired with two or three relievers I really like. The only questions are depth of rotation and bullpen, and so far they’ve been able to out-slug both of those potential issues. The Twins are a playoff team. I will continue to say it. How far they go depends on Kyle Gibson, Jake Odorizzi, Trevor May and the July 31 trade deadline.
DW: If they get there, I’d say how far they go depends more on the last point than anything else. Did you add Trevor Bauer? Let’s talk. Did you stand pat — or sell? — then how are you on par with the Astros?
You know I love #OnPace stats. At the beginning of the second calendar month of the season, the Twins are currently pacing to 846 runs (after scoring 1 run in 2 games against Houston). That total would have ranked 3rd in the A.L. last season, behind only the Red Sox and Yankees. I know that the Astros dealt with some injuries that season but can you say “eyeball emoji”? They probably need to pitch and prevent runs better. Currently on pace for 744 runs allowed, which would have rated 9th in the A.L. last season.
Let me throw this at you: Assuming no trades for any teams, how many games do you think that they’ll win?
DW: Sorry to cut in here, but a little breaking news tonight: Here’s a tweet from the Cleveland Indians of the American League
“Initial X-rays on Corey Kluber revealed a non-displaced fracture of his right ulna. Corey will be reevaluated tomorrow in Cleveland to confirm and assess timetable.”
Another blow to Cleveland’s starting pitching. (And postseason chances.)
PM: Ouch. That sounds terrible. Is it terrible? I don’t know enough about non-displaced right ulna fractures… Can’t imagine Kluber pitches again soon. If he’s out for an extended stretch, this is absolutely the Twins’ division to take.
TL;DR – #ItsHappening
DW: To my knowledge I have never fractured my ulna so I’m probably the wrong guy to ask. We’ll see what they say on Thursday after he’s re-evaluated. Either way, to miss two stud pitchers for an extended stretch of time is a big deal and amounts to real wins and losses for Cleveland. Their one remaining advantage is that they have the two best players in the division, but the way the Twins are scoring runs, it looks to me like their depth can overcome that. If you’re the Indians, do you pick up the horn and search your rolodex for Dallas Keuchel’s number?
PM: I don’t think Dallas Keuchel is a magic pill for the Indians. If I were Derek Falvey, however, I would take a much closer look at potentially overpaying Craig Kimbrel on a 3-year deal. The window is open, and there’s no reason not to try to capitalize on Cleveland’s misfortune. Push those chips in. Throw that deep pass. Hit the throttle. Or any other sports metaphor you want to use.