For the Minnesota Twins, the 2018 season was a chance to prove that last season’s Wild Card birth wasn’t a fluke. Unfortunately, they once again had a poor season, finishing below .500 with a 78-84 record. Not too long after the season, it would be manager Paul Molitor who paid the price for the team’s lack of success. Heading into the off-season, Minnesota has plenty of money to spend and plenty of questions to be answered.
Minnesota Twins 2018 Season Recap
While pitching this year for the Twins was very suspect, Jose Berrios had a breakout year, proving himself to be the ace of the rotation. He would earn an All-Star nod and was the sole representative for the Twins. While his record itself may not be impressive at 12-11 for the year, Berrios pitched a career-low 3.84 ERA, a career-high 202 strikeouts, and a career-high 192.1 innings. He also pitched two complete games and a shutout this season. If there was a good takeaway from this season, it definitely was the emergence of Berrios in the rotation.
Big Trades at Deadline
While sitting seven games back of the Cleveland Indians for the division lead in the AL Central, chief baseball officer Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine decided to start fresh. They started off in a big way when the Twins traded fan favorite Eduardo Escobar to the Arizona Diamondbacks in exchange for Ernie De La Trinidad, Jhoan Duran, and Gabriel Maciel. The moves would continue with Zach Duke, Brian Dozier, Ryan Pressly, Lance Lynn, and Fernando Rodney all being traded. This is where the season was lost for the Twins.
It was another tough year for Miguel Sano. While his strikeout numbers came down this year from 173 to 115, he missed a majority of the season due to a hamstring injury. He hit a career-low 13 home runs in his injury-littered season and a career-low .199 batting average with a career-low .398 slugging percentage.
The Twins had a rough 2017-18 season. With all the pitching woes in their bullpen, as well as some sketchy run support, Minnesota has plenty of needs to address in free agency. However, they have plenty of money to spend to fix these needs. With only $32.5 million committed to their payroll next year, look for the Twins to make some big moves in free agency.