Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton have been the two poster children for the Twins for the past couple of years (yep, there are still a few versions of this photo in our system from last year's season preview), and after the team's 5-1 start they are now the talk of the Twins offense.
Sano on the positive side, Buxton not so much.
Sano, after Sunday, was second in the major leagues in RBI with eight, one behind Nomar Mazara of Texas; and second in slugging percentage (.850) and OPS (1.308) to Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto. Sano's two-run home run lined into the wind in the Twins' 4-1 victory at Chicago on Sunday put an exclamation mark on his strong start.
There's no way to sugarcoat Buxton's rough start -- 2-for-26 with 14 strikeouts. Even in 21st century baseball, where it's tolerable to flirt with 200 strikeouts in a season, Buxton is on pace for, well, 378. That's not going to happen, but he is off to an excruciatingly painful beginning at the plate. With five rally-killing catches in center field, however, he has demonstrated his value ... and his teammates and manager insist he'll break out of his slump soon.
(It should be noted that Sano had two errors at third base in Saturday's loss in Chicago, which gives him a fielding percentage .50 points below his slugging percentage ... so as dependable as Buxton is patrolling center, his buddy at third is trending in the opposite direction.)
The Twins are off today, traveling to Detroit as soon as their hotel rooms are ready for a three-game series against the Tigers that starts tomorrow.
Finally: Phil Miller had the hidden nugget at the end of his postgame blog yesterday ... the Twins have won two road games, something they couldn't say last year until May 12.