Monday, April 10, 2017

Love the glove

Two runs a game.

Six games into the 2017 season, that's what the Twins opponents are averaging. Two measly runs per game.

Six games isn't much; it's two series, and one of those series was against a team that went into teardown mode this winter (the Chicago White Sox). Minnesota's 5-1 record may prove a mirage. But what we've seen so far is a far cry from the pitching-and-defense ineptitude of 2016.

That the outfield is impressing afield shouldn't be a surprise. Nothing falls but raindrops is supposedly their mantra, and they are living up to it. (Those calling for Byron Buxton to hit the bench over his struggles at the plate should remember: Were Danny Santana playing center field on Friday, Phil Hughes probably doesn't get out of the first inning.)

But Jorge Polanco has been far better at shortstop than I expected. Miguel Sano had a rough game Saturday at third -- two errors, one on a botched rundown that directly resulted in a run -- but other than that, the infield defense has also been superb.

If this pattern of stellar defense continues, 5-1 may not be a mirage.

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