Through 43 games, the Minnesota Twins are full of surprises, including positioning themselves first in the central division, but will the surprising start force the new leadership to think differently about the future?
Coming into the 2017 season, expectations were low for the Minnesota Twins. To many, the season was another rebuilding year that new team President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine would use to assess the team and make changes for the long term.
Instead, the Twins are sitting at the top of the American League Central, as if to say that the future is now.
Yet, will the surprising start realistically change management’s approach for this season?
Right now, there’s no doubt that fans would love for management to build the team for the short term. Ideally, Falvey and Levine would look into acquiring a starter or two to fill out a rotation that is in need of help, such as the Chicago White Sox pitcher Jose Quintana or Tampa Bay Rays pitcher Chris Archer, or trade for a bullpen arm to help set up Brandon Kintzler.
But, as much as I’d like to see the Twins address those needs via trade, I am not optimistic, considering Derek Falvey answered a question last week about his plan for the team as the July trade deadline approaches, saying via TwinCities.com:
"“You just have to go into each of those conversations, at every deadline, as open-minded as possible. I try not to think too much in May where we’re going to be come July. Let’s play the games that are in front of us.”"
At first, I thought that was a quote from former general manager Terry Ryan, who was notorious for patiently waiting to make moves for the long term. While I realize Falvey didn’t come out and say there’s no chance he’d make a move to benefit the team in the short term, I also don’t see a leader that is motivated to make such a move.
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Nevertheless, I can’t and won’t blame Falvey and Levine, if they decide to let the season play out, because as much as I want to see the Twins continue to succeed, I don’t see it happening with the current roster, as the pitching staff is still full of question marks.
On top of that, it is hard to gauge if playoff success this season would equate to long term success, especially if pitchers acquired are rentals or temporary fixtures in the rotation or bullpen. When you combine that with a lack of pitching prospects, there seems to be an even greater pitching problem presenting itself in a league where pitching is crucial. Even more so when it comes playoff time.
But, as well as the Twins are doing, I’d prefer to see the Twins take a risk, make a big move or two and see what happens, knowing that big moves by management can bring confidence and a spark to a team that is already feeling good about themselves.
While a long term mindset isn’t a bad thing, there are times that it is necessary to acquire proven talent at the risk of giving up prospects that may or may not pan out in order to help a team win and that time is now. Management doesn’t just owe that to the team, but to the fans that have stuck with a club that has grown accustomed to losing for far too long.
Only time will tell what management decides, but in the meantime, what do you think, Twins fans? If you were Falvey or Levine, would you go all in this season? Or continue to do things the so-called “Twins way”?
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