Luis Arraez is in a slump, a bad one. For him.
The Twins' leadoff hitter, who has played only 136 games in his three seasons, already looks like one of the best offensive kick-starters the Twins have ever had. He's batting .418 in the first inning over his career, and has an on-base percentage of .409 (and .441 in the first inning) when he's leading off.
"He forces the opposing pitcher into these uncomfortable at-bats. He doesn't chase. He fouls pitches off and that makes them work very, very hard," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said this morning. "I'll bet it's a pain in the butt when he steps up to the plate."
Which is why it's so notable that Arraez hasn't had a hit since Monday. Sure, he sat out Wednesday's game and Thursday was an off day, so that's only a three-game hitless streak. Hardly noticeable at all, of course, except it's only the third such … well, drought is too strong a word, let's say divot — he's endured.
And he's walked three times during it, so it's not like he's not contributing.
"Because [pitchers] have to work, they may end up not throwing the ball the way they want as the at-bats follow," Baldelli said. "So he does a lot. There are peripheral benefits to the types of at-bats he has.
Arraez will be right back atop the lineup today, as the Twins try to put the memory of Saturday's 11-3 loss behind them and win a series at Target Field for the first time all year. Brad Keller is on the mound for the Royals, a righthander whom Arraez has only seen once before, in 2019. Got a couple of hits off him, of course.