In a normal world, the Twins would be one month into a season filled with great anticipation after last year’s 101-win, 307-homer campaign.
But these times, of course, are anything but normal. That is illustrated most plainly by absence of the season so far. It also shows up, though, in the simulated Twins season being tracked by Baseball Reference and generated by Out Of The Park Baseball.
I’m not saying it’s a good thing that baseball hasn’t started. I am saying it’s maybe a good thing that the actual baseball season hasn’t played out the way the simulated season has (so far). Here are some of the truly bizarre and/or interesting things that have happened in the simulation:
*The Twins started the year 0-4 and dropped to 4-11 with a 17-4 loss at the White Sox. But … they turned their simulated season around the next game with a 20-8 win over Chicago — in 12 innings. Yep, the Twins scored 12 runs in the top of the 12th of that game, starting an 11-4 burst that has them sitting at 15-15 — trailing by a few games both the White Sox and Cleveland, who are off to hot starts.
*Luis Arraez (six games), Marwin Gonzalez (five games) and Eddie Rosario (nine games) have barely played, and I’m assuming it’s due to injury since at least Arraez and Gonzalez were off to hot starts. But four Twins players have started all 30 games: Byron Buxton, Ehire Adrianza, Josh Donaldson and Jorge Polanco. Those last two I might expect. Those first two? Not a chance.
*Hey, guess who is on the roster: Hanley Ramirez! Did the Twins sign him before things were shut down in March? Nope. But apparently they signed him on March 29 in this simulated season, presumably because of all the injuries.
*The Twins have ONLY hit 43 homers in 30 games, a pace for 232 this season. Unacceptable. Max Kepler leads the way with nine, while Nelson Cruz has eight. Buxton has six!
*The starting pitching beyond Jake Odorizzi and Jose Berrios has been shaky. Homer Bailey has lived up to his name, giving up a team-high 10 home runs (though he is 3-3 and has limited damage outside of the long balls). Randy Dobnak is 4-1 but his ERA is near 5. The real trouble has been with Kenta Maeda, who has an 8.28 ERA in his first year with the Twins since the big trade. As a staff, the Twins have allowed 49 home runs — including 32 by the starters. That’s the wrong type of Bomba Squad.
*It looks like Tyler Duffey was promoted to closer recently, even though Taylor Rogers (3.48 ERA) is still pitching decently and appears healthy. Duffey has been lights-out (1.54 ERA), but it’s hard to imagine Rogers being demoted. Tyler Clippard (10.61 ERA) has been a disaster, but Zack Littell (0.89 ERA) has been a revelation.
This is all very, very strange. I look forward to baseball resuming for real at some point — and hopefully, for Twins fans, not quite like this.