The Minnesota Twins made history this past Wednesday being the first team in Major League Baseball history to go from losing 100 games or more to making it to the postseason the following year.
This year the Twins are currently, as of writing this on September 29, 83-76 with three games left against the Detroit Tigers. The record is good enough to clinch the second wild-card spot and book a date in the postseason.
The Twins are still waiting to see who they will play on October 3, as the New York Yankees are currently sitting in the first wild-card spot, but could win the AL East as they are three games behind the Boston Red Sox. Each team currently has three games left, and the Yankees are currently up on the Toronto Blue Jays.
The Red Sox are in a series against the Houston Astros. The Astros are looking to win home-field advantage in the AL and, a longshot, but potentially the whole MLB Postseason.
The playoff berth is the first time the Twins made the postseason since the 2010 season. Glen Perkins, who has missed all season with an injury in his throwing arm, and Joe Mauer being the only two players that played on the 2010 team who are currently on the 2017 team.
Not a lot of people saw the Twins even coming close to the postseason this season after going 59-103 just a year ago. Many factors played a part of the Twins making it to keep playing baseball in October. The first being the two-team wild card system.
I saw it coming though as I predicted the Twins make a postseason this year all the way back last year. Don’t believe? Throwback to last October’s season review.
The MLB added a second wild card in the 2012 season where the two teams play one play in game to go and play in the Division Series. Having two wild card teams makes it is easier for teams to reach the postseason. This year all AL teams are above .500. This being the best teams won a lot and the not-good teams lost a lot. Leaving the teams to sneak in being that they aren’t the best but won enough to beat the other teams.
Young talent has played a big role in this year’s performance. With Bryon Buxton, Miguel Sano and Jose Berrios being young hyped up talent, people expected them to play well right out of the gate and forget that they are still young and will take time to develop and learn how to play and the big-league level. And there are still have guys like Eddie Rosario, Max Kepler and Jorge Polanco.
Defensively, the Twins have improved. With moving Sano from right field to his natural position at third base, Sano turned into an all-star at the hot corner. He has played a lot better compared to how he played last year when he did play at third. Struggling to make routine plays, Sano is lights out now with a cannon of an arm.
Buxton shows Gold Glove plays in center field. Buxton shows that he can be one of the best outfielders in the game one day.
Joe Mauer is playing great at first and shows he deserves a Gold Glove, being one of few to win a Gold Glove at more than one position.
To go along with his defensive skills, Mauer is playing like his old self again. Granted he is not playing at his peak performance, but at the age of 34, Mauer is hitting .305/.381/.417. When Joe plays well, the team plays well.
And Eduardo Escobar can play second, short and third. He has been nothing but rock solid in Sano’s absence at third as Sano is looking to get back if the Twins can advance into the postseason.
Many people counted the Twins out, especially at the trade deadline, but Brian Dozier believed that they could do it. Saying at the stretch when the Twins were leading the Cleveland Indians in the division, he knew that this team has a real shot.