* The Twins rank third in the American League in run-scoring, which is pretty surprising on its own but even more so when you consider that Joe Mauer has chipped in very little thus far.
I certainly don't mean to contribute to the typical Mauer panic that arises any time he goes through any kind of slump, but the slow start is noteworthy. Early on, he's striking out way more than ever before (27 percent K-rate) yet hitting for no power (three extra-base hits and a .321 slugging
Out of the 276 major-league players that accrued 300 or more plate appearances last year, Pedro Florimon and Aaron Hicks ranked 257th and 261st in OPS, respectively.
Although they made up for it somewhat with strong defense at key positions, both were among the worst hitters in baseball, so it was puzzling that the Twins entered this season without much in the way of backup plans at either shortstop or center field.
Unfortunately, Florimon and
In 2013, the Minnesota Twins rotation was essentially in shambles from the get-go. Liam Hendriks started the team's fourth game of the season. Pedro Hernandez started the sixth.
Those two combined with Andrew Albers, P.J. Walters and Cole DeVries to make a total of 40 starts for the Twins last year. Now, they're all out of the organization, buried in Triple-A for other clubs (or in Korea) and unlikely to spend much if any time in the majors.
Meanwhile, the Twins
The fact that the Twins sit at 6-6 after two weeks could be viewed as a surprise in and of itself, given their low expectations and some of the rough patches we've already seen.
Of course, anything can happen over the course of 12 games, and that applies to individual players as well as the team as a whole. Still, the first half of April has been marked by some surprising developments -- from my perspective, at least.
Jason Kubel's Defense
In 2013, the Oakland Athletics averaged 9.7 runs per game in their seven tilts against the Twins, and 4.5 runs per game against all other opponents.
Oakland's reign of terror against the team that ruined its happy ending in Moneyball continued this week, as the A's thoroughly dismantled Minnesota in a rather sparsely attended home-opening sweep.
After investing $84 million into the rotation during the offseason, the Twins have received painfully