Friday, August 6, 2010

Rays following the Twins template

The Twins got a break on Thursday and escaped St. Petersburg, Fla., with a split of the four-game series. I'll take it.

The Rays are a very good team indeed, a squad with many of the strengths of the first edition of the Gardenhire-era Twins, only turned up a notch.

They are not a particularly good hitting club -- they've been no-hit twice this season already and been victimized in consecutive years by perfect games. Yes, they are fourth in the American League in runs scored, but seven AL teams have better OPS.

Their strengths are in their pitching -- they have the AL's lowest ERA, the most strikeouts, and the third fewest walks -- and their defense, which is rooted in their team speed.

That's essentially what the Twins of the Hunter-Santana-Koskie-Radke era. But the Rays do it better than those Twins did.

And the current Twins squad is nothing like that. The defensive limitations of the Twins outfield never seemed more obvious than on Wednesday night, when Delmon Young and Denard Span repeatedly turned fly balls into doubles. This Twins squad is rooted in its offensive capabilities, not in its power arms and certainly not in its defensive range.

The Rays are certainly a fun team to watch. It's too bad so few do.

1 comment:

  1. I can't help thinking that playing the Rays is like playing the Yankees ... without the Yankees arrogance and their fans! The Rays are a good team!