Yankees 3, Twins 0
Last night, the Yankees finally finished the Twins season. The result, an LDS sweep, is unsurprising. After writing off the Twins just before their run to the postseason, I think my comments stand as is. Over short stretches, Orlando Cabrera, Delmon Young, Nick Punto, and others played well. This is little more than a fluke of sample size. Any player has good stretches and bad stretches; bad players simply have fewer of the former and more of the latter. The Twins made the postseason because a series of weak players had good stretches simultaneously.
This team still has serious problems. Punto, Cabrera, and Tolbert are all substandard hitters. Cabrera, as rated by UZR/150, was the second worst fielding shortstop in the American League. Tolbert and Punto, in contrast, are good fielders, but they make Cabrera look like Albert Pujols. Joe Crede, who is still a productive hitter and good fielder, is at an age at which injuries continue to pile up. The best that can be said about Delmon Young is that he is still young. The Twins can hope that he will dramatically improve his on-base skills as he matures, though I am not sure that hope is based in reality.
On the pitchers, see my earlier post. For pitchers to age gracefully, they usually must have good strikeout rates. That means Scott Baker is likely to look better than he did this season, but Nick Blackburn is likely to look worse. Overall, the staff is still young, and there is some hope they are more like wine than milk and will improve with age.