If you blinked — or better yet, if you closed your eyes completely — you might not have realized that exactly one-sixth of the Twins season, 27 games, is finished. At 8-19, it’s been an ugly start. And while many of the team’s numbers figure to improve, other inflated ones figure to get worse. Let’s take a quick look at some of the ugliest projections (and a few good ones, to):
Team record: At this pace, the Twins would finish the season 48-114. That is very, very, very unlikely to happen. Not only would it be the worst winning percentage for the franchise in more than 100 years (dating back to the 1909 Senators), but also their winning percentage (.296) would be the second-worst in MLB in the last 50 years. Perhaps more relevant is this troubling notion: the Twins will have to go 73-62 (.541) over the final 135 games just to finish .500.
Relief innings: Twins relievers have already logged 94 2/3 innings this season — second most in the American League. The bullpen ERA of 3.23 is fine, but the Twins run the risk of overworking their relievers yet again.
Team hitting strikeouts: The Twins have struck out 243 times at the plate, a pace for 1,458 in a season. That would set a team record.
Team runs scored: The Twins have scored just 95 runs, a pace for a dismal 570. Last year’s middle-of-the-pack offense scored 696.
Team defense: The Twins have made 18 errors (not to mention a host of other misplays). That’s the second most in the American League and a pace for 108 (they made just 86 last season).
Catching offense: Kurt Suzuki and John Ryan Murphy are a combined 14 for 92 at the plate this season. If that keeps up (it won’t, but just imagine if it did), the Twins catchers would COMBINE for just 84 hits this year.
Park Bangs: Byung Ho Park has been one of the pleasant surprises on this year’s team. He hit his seventh home run last night and is on pace for 42 this season. He hits them far and he hits them to all fields.
Joe Mauer: The Twins first baseman has been on base 52 times this season via a hit or walk, putting him on pace for 312 times reaching via those methods. He’s never been on base more than 267 times via a hit or walk in any season.
Pitcher strikeouts: Twins pitchers have struck out 218 batters, a pace to finish the year with 1,308. Their 218 Ks so far ranks them 14th in MLB. After finishing dead last in MLB in that category each of the past five seasons — last year Twins pitchers struck out 1,046 batters — this is a notable improvement.