By Ross Sutton
Last season, the Minnesota Twins had a surprisingly successful season, going 85-77 and clinched the second wild card spot. After finishing the 2016 season with a dreadful 59-103 record, the Twins became the first team to ever make the playoffs the year after having a 100 loss season. The Twins’ young core developed better than expected last year, and the team’s manager Paul Molitor showed he is the perfect fit for this young club. So far this offseason, the Twins have acquired Jake Odorizzi, Logan Morrison, Addison Reed, Fernando Rodney, Zach Duke, Michael Pineda, and Anibal Sanchez. The Twins have quietly had an extremely productive offseason by giving themselves more reliable arms in the bullpen and more depth for the starting rotation.
This upcoming season, the Twins should be able to find a good deal of success due to their weak division. The Indians appear to have taken a step back compared to the last couple of years, and the Royals, Tigers and White Sox are all not very good. The Tigers have too many old players on large contracts that are at the end of their careers, and the Royals and White Sox are both rebuilding. This will give the Twins a lot of very winnable games at the end of the season when they will most likely be making a push for the playoffs. Led by Joe Mauer, Brian Dozier and Byron Buxton, the Twins have a great mix of young players and established veterans on their team. In my opinion, the biggest need for this Twins team coming into the offseason was their pitching in both the bullpen and the starting rotation, and I believe they have adequately addressed both of those needs. When taking everything into account, I believe that the Twins will finish this year with a 87-75 record and will be either the second wild card team, or will just miss out on the playoffs to teams such as the Angels or Blue Jays.
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