The Fan watched a lot of the Twins - Angels game on ESPN on Sunday night and there is a lot to like about that team. For one thing, they put a lot better line up every day out there than they did at any point last year. It would be nice for them to get Morneau back but he's not as important to the team as Mauer is. Velencia is an exciting young player and he is certainly a step up on Punto. Hardy is probably the best shortstop the Twins have had since Smalley. Kubel and Thome can still rake and Delmon Young has become a really good player.
And it was also a warm fuzzy to see how well Baker threw. He hasn't exactly lit up the big screen with his pitching this year. But he was good against the Angels. But then again, it was the Angels, not a very good hitting team. His performance the rest of the season is more indicative of what kind of pitcher he is. And the bullpen did well in the two innings they were called on to pitch. Capps is a nice addition, but he's no sure thing as a closer. Duensing improves the rotation, but weakens the bullpen. Liriano is breaking down a bit and will be skipped a start. Blackburn is one of the worst starters in the league. Slowey is now hurt. Pavano is good. Really good. But he's not an ace.
And the bullpen is scary. They are tenth of fourteen American League teams in saves. Capps isn't a significant upgrade on Rauch. They have some decent guys but no fireballers. And that really is the essence of their pitching staff. They are tenth in the league in hits allowed and tenth in the league in hits against. In other words, they don't scare you and they can be had.
Last year, the Twins didn't have enough post season offense. This year, they may not have enough post season pitching. The Fan still can't see them beating Tampa Bay or New York in a playoff series in 2010.