Here are three thoughts following the Twins' 7-4 loss to Tampa Bay
THE LONG BALL: The Rays tied a season-high with four home runs on Saturday - three off Ervin Santana and one off of Michael Tonkin. The Twins have now given up 78 home runs on the season, the most in the American League and second in baseball to Cincinnati. This is the most disturbing sign from a staff that was expected to be functional this season. Pitching coach Eric Rasmussen said that the one thing he wants to see from his pitchers is unpredictability. So either these pitchers need to pitch backwards at times or make sure they get strike one so they can make hitters worried about off-speed and breaking stuff.
BUXTON IS DIFFERENT: The strikeouts continue to be troubling, but Byron Buxton is putting the bat on the ball more frequently that he did his first couple visits to the majors. This is a starting point. The leg kick he's added to his approach appears to have helped his timing. Now he's got to work on being selective, especially when he's ahead in the count. The one thing I've noticed is that he will chase pitches that tumble out of the bottom of the strike zone, so that needs to be cleaned up. But it's been nice to see him get on base, where his great speed creates havoc.
MEYER'S SHOULDER: Now Alex Meyer is on the DL at Class AAA Rochester and is going to for a second opinion on his shoulder. He's already had a cortisone shot in the shoulder recently. If Meyer is having shoulder problems more than a month since his last outing, he's going to be out awhile. Don't be surprised if he doesn't pitch until July. That's my opinion, not based on any intel I've picked up.