MLB: Trend or Mirage?

By Zack Cimini

The Minnesota Twins are off to an atrocious start. A new ballpark and bolstering their team by resigning mega contracts with their stars has thus far backfired. Joe Mauer is out for an extended length of time until mid-May, and Justin Morneau has struggled to regain his former self at the plate.

They were the studs that the lineup fed off of. Instead of timely hits being made by the rest of the Twins, they’ve all faltered. Their batters from the three to seven spot have lacked any type of consistency, even Cuddyer who has risen over the last few years. Pitching was supposed to ride on the arms of Francisco Liriano. Sure he had a no hitter, but besides that start he has been rocked. This is not the direction the Twins were expected to go with their big three. Are they stuck with the mega contracts of these players? It appears so. An overhaul with their farm system, or trades for other teams prospects is likely.

One pitcher that has been able to manage outings well is Scott Baker (2.97 ERA). Minnesota’s defensive efficiency has struggled, but not when Baker has been out there. Baker has had solid command, and is making owners satisfied for drafting him in later rounds. He is getting his bang for his buck, but you’d have to say his first six starts are a mirage. Baker has been known for getting hit around and having short outings on the mound on a regular basis.

You can pick your spots with Baker, but he definitely shouldn’t be starting each time he is due to pitch for your fantasy team. Depth at pitcher is vital but you also need to manage your innings pitched. Having a pitcher like Baker can make that easier. The outing where Baker lasts three innings and gets lit up was just a matter of time. Today against Detroit he lasted just four innings. Unable to command his pitches, which led to five walks and six hits. Giving up a total of five runs.

Likely if you were trying to sell Baker high, no other owner bought it. They’ll definitely not now. Use Baker as an occasional starter and you’ll be fine. Just don’t expect him to put together five to six solid outings like he started the year off with.


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