Monday, August 5, 2019

The good and the bad

The Twins swept the Kansas City Royals over the weekend, which is good. A team on a 100-win pace, as the Twins are, should beat a team on a 100-loss pace, as the Royals are.

But Cleveland swept the Angels as well, so the Twins didn't widen their margin over the weekend. And the Twins have the tougher matchup next with the Atlanta Braves; Cleveland plays Cincinnati.

The bad news is that since my last post the Twins have put three players on the injured list.

Byron Buxton is the most troublesome of the injuries; he's likely to miss most if not all of August. In a very real way, Buxton is the most important player on this team, and he's simply got to stop running into walls. Nothing good comes of it.

I'm less concerned about the two pitchers, Michael Pineda and Sam Dyson. Pineda had a brief stint on the IL earlier in the season. Reading between the lines, the first stint was essentially precautionary, and it sounds like this one is also. "Big Mike" is on his first full season back after Tommy John surgery, and even though he's a free agent after the season the Twins are handling him with some care.

He's been pitching well, too, with an ERA of 2.23 over his last six starts.

Dyson ... well, the eyebrows rise when a player comes in a midseason trade, has two poor outings and goes on the IL. The Twins appear to believe that the IL stint will be essentially the mimimal 10-days. Dyson is said to believe he's able to pitch, but the Twins want to give him a break and get the soreness out of his arm.

So Dyson and Pineda miss these next two series on the homestand, Atlanta and Cleveland. It's early August, but this could be a critical week.

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