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Twins Insider

La Velle E. Neal III and Phil Miller report on the Twins from wherever they make news

Twins postgame: GM Ryan on team's struggles: 'They are feeling it and so am I.'

There are three thoughts following the Twins loss to the Tigers

CRISIS TIME: Twins General Manager Terry Ryan made a point to be visible during batting practice on Sunday. This team is in another skid and needs to turn things around in a hurry. Ryan also wants to show that he's not hiding despite the team's struggles. ``We're going through a tough time,'' he said. ``Visibility. I didn't do anything other than I want to make sure I'm accountable. You can't go through the stretch we're going through and not feel it. I know they are feeling it and so am I. We're going through a bad time. That game (Friday) I'm sure it was ugly for the fans and ugly for a lot of us who have a lot of responsibility for this team.''

LINEUP CHANGES: The batting order isn't working right now, and Twins manager Paul Molitor might want to juggle some things around. Danny Santana looks like the Santana of 2014 and provides a boost at the top of the order. But until Brian Dozier gets going, Joe Mauer should slide in the No. 2 hole while Dozier drops down for a bit. Ultimately, the offense won't thrive unless Dozier is drawing walks and hitting homers. Dozier just doesn't look like the threat he was last season. He just missed hitting one out on Saturday, and it probably would have been a home run if not for the gusts coming in from left field. And Dozier is trying to use center field and right field more as teams swing their defenses around because he has pulled the ball a lot in the past. But his batting average is down to .191 after Saturday. Bat Sano third and try Dozier sixth or so until he gets going.

DUFFEY: Tyler Duffey gave up three runs, one earned, in the first inning on Saturday but pitched into the seventh inning while looking a lot like the pitcher who was called up last last season. Duffey got his curveball working and used it effectively, throwing it at different speeds, spiking it straight up and down or adding a little slurve to it. He also threw several changeups with positive results. Duffey could emerge as a factor once again as the Twins try to absorb injuries to Ervin Santana and Kyle Gibson and the demotion of Tommy Milone to the bullpen.

Duffey on the mound as Twins try to bounce back

The Twins missed an opportunity to take advantage of a young pitcher on Friday. Will they be up the task against a veteran in the middle of a nice roll?

Nationals righthander Jordan Zimmerman just had a 24.1 scoreless inning streak snapped on Monday, but he has been everything the Tigers wanted when they signed him as a free agent during the offseason. He's given up one earned run for a 0.35 ERA this year.

If the Twins are going to climb back to relevancy, they will need to beat pitchers like Zimmerman. Twins righthander Tyler Duffey will have to pitch like he did in September. The offense, 1-for-7 with runners in scoring position last night, must cash in on scoring opportunities. 

Keep this in mind. The Twins are 7-16. If they play 70-69 ball the rest of the way, they will finish 77-85. For them to get back to around .500, they have to win series and sweep when they can. Games like today, the day after losing the previous night, are important in that regard.

Ian Kinsler, 2B
J.D. Martinez, RF
Miguel Cabrera, 1B
Victor Martinez, DH
Justin Upton, LF
Nick Castellanos, 3B
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, C
Anthony Cox, CF
Jose Iglesisas, SS

Jordan Zimmerman, RHP


Danny Santana, CF
Brian Dozier, 2B
Joe Mauer, DH
Miguel Sano,. RF
Byung Ho Park, 1B
Eduardo Escobar, SS
Eduardo Nunez, 3B
Eddie Rosario, LF
John Ryan Murphy, C

Tyler Duffey, RHP