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In this edition of the Twins Ramble, Rambling On god-king Erik Ritland asks Twins analyst Peter Ripka about the Orioles sweep, Astudillo as ROY candidate, recent bullpen shake-ups, and more.
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The Twins followed up their skid against the Blue Jays with a three-game sweep of the Orioles. Are the Twins really good or are the Orioles just really bad?
Little bit of both. The Orioles are a very bad team. They have a pitching staff made up of guys that are cutting their teeth in the league still or just shouldn't be in the show yet.
However, with that being said, the Twins possess a very good hitting lineup. Additionally, not all pieces are yet performing as they could or have.
What is the most impressive hitting stat of the Twins season so far: Rosario hitting 10 home runs faster than any Twin, Polanco hitting .372, or Buxton leading the league in doubles (12) and batting .287?
Buxton is the most impressive. He seemed off last year, as even before his injury he was having trouble getting on base. It looks like he spent his off-season learning how to be a big league hitter.
As for the other options you present, Rosario has had these sorts of hot streaks in the past. It is nice to see him doing it early in the season for once. Polanco looks like he did two years ago before his PED suspension. He looked like he never got into a groove last year after missing the first half of the season.
Even mlb.com is noticing cult favorite Willians Astudillo. Let's swing for the fences here: will he receive any Rookie of the Year votes?
If his average and RBI totals continue to improve, and his strikeout/walk ratio stays amazing, it wouldn't surprise me if he gets a few votes. It is only roughly twenty games into the campaign, though, so it could be a just a mirage. There's he reason he is slightly older than your typical rookie.
In any case, he sure is fun to watch.
What do you think of the Twins sending down Tyler Duffey and Jake Cave to make room for Kohl Stewart and Fernando Romero? How was the pitching staff looking, and will this give them the bump they need?
It was no real surprise that something needed to be done. The middle relief has left a lot to be desired thus far this year. They have let teams back into blowouts far too often. If Romero can keep his command with his arm strength, I could see him moving to the the back end of bullpen, either as the setup guy or possibly closer.
Peter Ripka is the original Rambling On podcast co-host and has been a contributor since its inception. He’s currently the Wild analyst, a position he’s held for several years. A Wild and Twins season ticket holder, his writing combines the passion of a fan and the insight of a beat writer.