The Minnesota Twins finished bang in the middle of the American League Central in 2022. With 74 wins and 64 losses, they were never a threat to run down the division-winning Cleveland Guardians who ended up beating them by 14.0 games in the division. They were also never a threat to finish in the cellar, with the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers winning 65 and 66 games respectively. This is a team that will be better, but will they improve enough to challenge the Guardians at the top of the pile?
The Twins start the season on the road where they play a three-game series at Kauffman Stadium against the Royals. A trip to Miami to face Marlins follows, before their home opener on Thursday, April 6 against the Houston Astros. Further April home series see the Twins face the Chicago White Sox, Washington Nationals, and New York Yankees.
Here are three questions for the Twins ahead of the 2023 season.
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Three Key Questions
How will Carlos Correa react to his offseason drama?
Carlos Correa is back with the Twins in 2023 after signing a deal in excess of $200 million this offseason. This makes Correa the biggest free agent signing in franchise history, but it came at the end of a saga where Correa thought he had signed for two other teams. The shortstop was first expected to be a San Francisco Giant and then a New York Met, with the deals collapsing during issues with his physical relating to an old leg injury. Correa batter .291 with 22 homers with the Twins last season on a one-year deal, playing his way into a massive contract. That contract came – in the end – but it is hard to know how his play will react to that drama.
Is the pitching staff healthy?
You wouldn’t call the Twins’ pitching staff great, but it is certainly a capable unit IF the rotation is healthy and firing. That just wasn’t the case in 2022, with Sonny Gray unable to stay healthy for a prolonged period, Tyler Mahle’s shoulder issues causing him to miss the last six weeks of the season – and a big chunk of the offseason – and veteran Kenta Maeda coming back from Tommy John surgery at an age where that procedure is a big time concern. Riding a wave of health is a must for all teams over the course of 162 games. The Twins’ previous is not ideal here.
Is there enough pop in the lineup?
Bringing back Correa helps here, but this is a team that finished in the bottom half of the league (17th) in runs scored last season. The Twins need bounce-back years from one (or both) of Jorge Polanco and Max Kepler, while Joey Gallo is another bat that should help the lineup. If the [itching falls apart then the Twins are going to need to generate more runs. This doesn’t feel like a team that will be exponentially helped by the larger bases and pickoff rules, so they might have to live and die by the long ball. Projections of seventh in slugging in preseason advanced metric rankings point to their way to win.
Upcoming Twins Home Games (Before the All-Star Break)
Mon, April 10 – Chicago White Sox
Tue, April 11 – Chicago White Sox
Wed, April 12 – Chicago White Sox
Fri, April 21 – Washington Nationals
Sat, April 22 – Washington Nationals
Sun, April 23 – Washington Nationals
Mon, April 24 – New York Yankees
Tue, April 25 – New York Yankees
Wed, April 26 – New York Yankees
Thu, April 27 – Kansas City Royals
Fri, April 28 – Kansas City Royals
Sat, April 29 – Kansas City Royals
Sun, April 30 – Kansas City Royals
Wed, May 10 – San Diego Padres
Thu, May 11 – San Diego Padres
Mon, May 22 – San Francisco Giants
Tue, May 23 – San Francisco Giants
Wed, May 24 – San Francisco Giants
Fri, May 26 – Toronto Blue Jays
Sat, May 27 -Toronto Blue Jays
Sun, May 28 – Toronto Blue Jays
Thu, June 1 – Cleveland Guardians
Fri, June 2 – Cleveland Guardians
Sat, June 3 – Cleveland Guardians
Sun, June 4 – Cleveland Guardians
Tue, June 13 – Milwaukee Brewers
Wed, June 14 – Milwaukee Brewers
Mon, July 3 – Kansas City Royals
Tue, July 4 – Kansas City Royals
Wed, July 5 – Kansas City Royals
Fri, July 7 – Baltimore Orioles
Sat, July 8 – Baltimore Orioles
Sun, July 9 – Baltimore Orioles