Coming off a disappointing road trip before the All-Star Game in which the Twins lost of couple of heart breakers to the Texas Rangers, the Minnesota Twins are likely to aggressively look for offers for many of their current players. While the Twins are “only” 11.0 games out of first place, they are still 13 games under .500 and would have to go 45-32, playing .582 baseball. Only the New York Yankees, the Texas Rangers, and the Washington Nationals played .582 baseball or better before the All-Star Break, so the Twins are looking at a monumental climb just to get back to .500.
Realistically the Twins would need to approach not just 81 wins to compete in the Central, but something more like 86 wins to win the division (assuming the White Sox Cleveland or Detroit do not play much better in the 2nd half), which would mean going 50-27 in their remaining games. That simply is not happening with the Twins’ current pitching staff. Even if the good Francisco Liriano shows up and Scott Diamond continues to impress, Cole De Vries and Samuel Dedunoare still in the starting rotation!
So what would a realistic record look like going down the stretch? The Twins are 18-17 since June 1, which is a lot closer to the mediocre team many thought the Twins would be heading into the season, than the 18-32 baseball the played before June. In their remaining 77 games, the Twins have 43 games against the AL Central and just 17 left against the AL East and the AL West. Even if the Twins’ front office trades off a couple of their more valuable players, the Twins should still have a decent opportunity to play within a game of .500 baseball against the AL Central teams, going 21-22 the rest of the way. Against the East and West the Twins played very poorly in the first half, posting a winning record only against the Oakland Athletics (3-0). I do not think they’ll be as bad as they were in the first half, and if they manage to go 15-19 against the rest of the AL I will not be surprised. Maybe that is a little bit of a rose colored prediction, but this team has shown in the past month+ that they are capable of putting together stretches of competitive baseball.
That would put the Twins at 36-41 in the second half, and a record of 72-90 to finish the season. That is only 9 games better than the 63-99 the Twins were a year ago, but if the front office is building towards future success, I will be willing to accept the lumps in 2012 in hopes of a brighter future ahead.