The 2011 season for the Minnesota Twins has been nightmarish. After such high expectations last winter following Tsuyoshi Nishioka’s arrival, about everything that could have gone wrong has for the Twins.
There were the countless injuries. On April 7, Tsuyoshi Nishioka broke his leg and has struggled all season. That was just the beginning. Since that point, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Alexi Casilla, Denard Span, and many others have gone on the disabled list. Manager Ron Gardenhire hasn’t been able to field the same lineup very often at all this year.
But there has been a lot more to the Twins’ struggles than injuries. It seems like nearly every time the Twins face a challenge, they start to give up. Joe Mauer, who signed a huge 8-year, $184 million contract, has had many “injuries” throughout the year and does not seem to be totally into the game. How much money does a guy have to make to run hard to first base?? Gardenhire needs (if he hasn’t done so already) to have a long talk with Mauer about what it means to be a leader and set a good example for the rest of the team.
Another big concern is the health of Justin Morneau, who has been out since August 29 with a shoulder injury and “mild concussion symptoms.” Morneau’s 2010 season ended way early because of a concussion and his 2009 season got cut short because of a back injury. He has a new injury about every few weeks! I think his career could be in danger. I like him a lot, but it is best for the team to trade Morneau. I also think he could even be looking at an early retirement if his injury problems continue. These, along with the team’s sloppy defense, are just a few problems for the Twins this season. What do you think went wrong??
One of the few bright spots of the Twins’ season is that they get to have a good look at their top prospects. Even though he doesn’t have a very good throwing arm, Ben Revere is going to be an excellent player for many years. His blazing speed has allowed him to make several spectacular catches in center field, and he is aggressive on the basepaths. Trevor Plouffe and Luke Hughes will be key contributors too.
Still, 2011 has been a major disappointment for the Twins. Because of their poor performance, the team lost fan favorite Jim Thome when the Cleveland Indians claimed him off waivers and might lose more players this winter. But, Twins fans, forget about this year’s disappointment and get excited for 2012!
Written by: Sam Graves