Rocco Baldelli represents the dawn of a new era for the Minnesota Twins. The former major leaguer could be the start of something fresh and new for the Twins.
Can Rocco Baldelli turn out to be a godsend as the new manager of the Minnesota Twins? That is what is on the minds of many who follow the Twins. In an American League Central division which could be up for grabs, Baldelli’s impact with the Twins could make a difference in a positive or a negative way.
After a sold, yet injury-plagued eight-year MLB career, Baldelli, 37 years young, will try his hand at managing a team whose most talented players are 27-year-old or younger. Barring some sudden changes to the heart of the roster, it is the same young core that former Twins’ skipper Paul Molitor struggled to communicate with, thus costing him his post at the end of the season.
Baldelli could do great overseeing the Twins as long as there are a few pieces in place. One major component is primarily growth from within. However, it will require something that the Twins are not known for — spending money.
Money, especially this season is not the issue for one of the most fiscally responsible franchises in the Minnesota Twins. Actually using the money is the problem. The Twins must spend this winter, but wisely if they want to have Baldelli get off to a good start as manager. What the have on the roster currently is not enough to fully compete with the Cleveland Indians.
This offseason’s MLB free agency crop is top-heavy with hitting as the likes of Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, among others, headline the group. It is unlikely that the Twins are going to land either of them, let alone harvest the idea of it. Instead, it is the pitching market where the Twins can and should make some noise.
If the Twins can somehow usher in the Rocco Baldelli era with possible ace pitchers Dallas Keuchel or Nathan Eovaldi it would make a helluva statement. The Twins would be letting their division rivals know that they are serious about winning for the next three to four years.
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It is a window that Baldelli to establish a different culture in the clubhouse and works well within the timeline of many Twins’ players prime years. The Twins have an ample opportunity to overtake the soon-to-be regressing Indians while staying ahead of the soon-to-be contending Chicago White Sox.
Going with Baldelli is an experimental maneuver for the Twins because he comes with zero managerial experience. What Baldelli lacks in times that he has filled out lineup cards, he makes up for everything with his time with the Tampa Bay Rays, an organization that thrives on analytics. The Twins are quickly moving in a similar direction so it should be expected that Baldelli can assist in that area.
Will the Rocco Baldelli experiment actually work for the Minnesota Twins?
Baldelli’s tenure with the Twins will be defined by the growth of his players and what the Twins’ front office can do in order to boost the pitching staff. The Twins also have to draft well in doing so in the vein of Baldelli’s proposed vision for the team. In order things to go well in Minnesota, the culture has to match the vision of their new skipper. In other words, Baldelli has a chance as long as the organization fully invests in him.