The 2011 Twins committed 119 errors, ranking them 28th among 30 teams in Major League Baseball. There was plenty of evidence to support the notion that the "Twins Way" had slipped mightily that season, but that one number does jump off the page as an easy target.
In the offseason, new/old GM Terry Ryan scooped up Josh Willingham and Ryan Doumit, neither of whom are known for defensive prowess, to solidify the lineup. But he also nabbed Jamey Carroll to shore up the most embarrassing part of the 2011 defensive woes: the infield. He probably overpaid a little -- Carroll is making $3.75 million this season -- but the Twins were absolutely desperate for a Carroll-type player, a veteran who would make all the plays and stop the circus music.
Minnesota improved to 21st in defense last year with 107 errors. This year, Minnesota has committed the fourth-fewest errors in all of baseball (49).
With the understanding that errors are hardly the perfect measure of defense ... and that Carroll did not single-handedly turn around the defense in this category ... we must say this: mission accomplished.
Carroll was traded to the Royals on Sunday, and if his primary charge was to restore some pride to the fielding portion of the game, he has done exactly that. Perhaps he leaves here at the perfect time, now that his playing time has dwindled and others like Pedro Florimon and Brian Dozier have locked things down fielding-wise.
But nice work, Jamey Carroll. You will be missed.