The Twins limp home after a 2-4 eastcoast road-trip and while there is plenty to be down about, at least our boys are coming home. I've been reading around some of the Twins blogs and, understandably, the hot topic of the day is Nishioka's unfortunate injury in yesterday's game. I want to change the subject though because honestly, it happened, he's out, and we have to move on.
In trying to focus on positive things, I've come up with a couple of observations:
1.) The Twins bullpen was fantastic in the Yankee series. The bullpen as a whole pitched 8 scoreless innings against a very potent Yankee lineup and they were key in the Twins' victory in game 2 of the series.
2.) Though Baker and Duensing struggled in the early innings against the Yankees, both of them settled down and gave the team 6+ innings.
It may seem like I'm grasping at straws there, and I am a little, but those two things are certainly positive developments, especially considering how many of us have expressed our concerns with the bullpen. Another thing to keep in mind is the disparity in schedules between the Twins and White Sox so far. While the Twins had a very difficult road-trip against teams that were a combined 36 games over .500 last season, the White Sox had the Indians and Royals. Now they draw the Rays and their Triple-A offense while the Twins draw the Oakland Athletics who have one of the deeper and more talented starting rotations in the American League. The schedule will even itself out eventually, I'm just saying...
I think the thing I am most positive about is the fact that Justin Morneau looks like he's officially healthy. He's started the majority of the games so far and his bat is looking better and better. Yes the Twins lost 4 out of 6 games on the road-trip, but they also didn't score more than 5 runs in any of those games and their only homeruns came from Denard Span and Danny Valencia. The bats are gonna come around folks and this offense is going to be good, we just have to be patient.
I had to have Matt talk me off the ledge yesterday, so lest you think I simply have my rose-colored glasses on, I don't. I'm aware of the legitimate concerns this team has going forward, especially in the middle-infield. That said, we have to keep in mind how young this season is. I think we're going to start seeing some better outings from our starters in the next couple of weeks and I think having a couple of series' at home will be good medicine for this team. And hey, Nishioka's not going to miss the whole season, he'll be back by mid-May, early-June and we can get back to over-analyzing his defense and hitting abilities. Till then we've got Luke Hughes and Matt Tolbert to kick around.