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Twins infamously started 0-9 and 11-34 or something last year on route to a 103 loss season.  They’re 13-11 now this year on May 3.

I kind of liked the idea of Terry Ryen, wise old baseball GM running the place.  And everyone agreed he had a real basis for astuteness.  But he and a couple of the other old guys in the previous braintrust were the problem.  They resigned / were let go.  They have some young stat guys from East Coast private colleges running the personnel these days.  And that’s the broader trend in the last 10 years.

The young guys fixed the catching situation and settled on a shortstop.  These were dissonant problems last year, and a big reason the Twins lost 103 games.

The other thing that’s gone right are, you got an emergent star having a star season – Miguel Sano.  And you got a major league starter having his career year – Ervin Santana.  When you got one anchor hitter and one anchor pitcher having decent seasons, that’s all it takes for the team to have a decent year.

Santana here is a curiosity, sort of.  It’s his 13th season in the majors, he’s 34…

http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/s/santaer01.shtml

… and he’s turned into one of these Cory Kulber’s or Jake Arrieta’s.  Has piled up victories this season and end of last… no one can hit him.

How do you go 12+ seasons and the nature of your effectiveness as a pitcher is enhanced so radically?  He’s been throwing the same good stuff for a decade.

It’s in his head.

Watched him last night (again).  He throws 92 consistently.  Fast for a starter, but it’s a hittable speed, really.  Everyone raves about his slider, which is quite effective.  It doesn’t actually slide.  It’s one these tight drops like Kluber or Arrieta.  Disappears under the plane of the bat.

You watch him, the thing is he’s really, really obstinate in not getting lazy or thoughtless on a hitter and throwing a pitch over the plate to hit.  Gets ahead with quality strikes.  Guy is a pro pitcher, we haven’t had one of these in a while.

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