We are 1/5 of the way through the Twins 2010 season so let's take a look at where they are at and what can be expected from here on out.
New Ballpark. Surprise surprise, everyone love Target Field and outdoor baseball. Even with this last homestand, which was generally cold and wet, Target Field has become a big hit. Surprisingly to some, the field has played pretty fair, with fly balls dying in the gaps and center. Once it gets warmer, we should see more homeruns and I think we may have Wrigley situation on our hands: Pitcher's park on the spring and fall; hitter's park in the summer. Overall a wonderful place to watch a Major League Baseball game. Overall Grade: A
Pitching. Aside from a Crainwreck here and there, the bullpen was been quite stellar and that's with Pat Neshak being injured. Neck Tat has taken over the closer role quite admirably and Guerrer, Duensing, and even Mayhey and Burnett performing nicely in their roles. The starters have been pretty good too, with a every starter having some real nice outings sandwiching a poor effort. I was unfortunately at the game where Carl Pavano gave up 7 runs in 4 innings. He's been lights out ever since. Slowey has been troublesome in the middle innings so hopefully that improves. Overall Grade B+
Hitting. Morneau's having a monster season, Jim Thome and O-Dawg have done everything we wanted from them and Delmon has actually been quite good. Mauer has been a good hitter but the power we saw last year seems to have disappeared again. (1 HR in his last 150+ at bats). Jason Kubel has been dreadful and if he can get it going look out. D-Span has been a great lead-off hitter and generating lots of walks. Unfortunately the Twins batting average with the bases loaded has been atrocious. Hopefully a regression to the mean is coming soon. Oh and Hudson, no need to bunt early in the game with runners on base. Let's get some hits and not give away outs. Overall Grade: B
Fielding: Fewest errors in the majors. Hardy has been much better in the field than advertised and say what you want about Punto's lousy performance at the plate, but he plays a mean 3rd base. Even Delmon Young has shown some improved tracking skills in the outfield. When you see how devastating a bad fielding team like the Tigers or Royals is to a game one appreciates the importance of a great fielding team like the Twins. Overall Grade: A
So just past the 20 percent mark and the Twins are 10 games over 500 or on a pace to win 105 games. The Central Division title should be no problem but the team and fans have much greater expectations than another one and done in the playoffs. The team now heads off to road games against the Yankees, Blue Jays, and Red Sox -- places where they've had trouble winning in the past. While none of these games will have a major impact on the final standings, it would be nice to send a message that the Twins are serious about contending late into the fall this year. Should be fun, I can't wait.