Starting Pitching: The Twins starting pitching has been a pleasant surprise this year compiling a 4.41 starters ERA led by rookie Nick Blackburn who had a 3.52 era followed by Boof Bonser at 3.75, then Scott Baker at 4.50 and then Livan Hernandez at 5.04. If you take away the bad 4 starts that Francisco Liriano and Kevin Slowey made it would be alot lower. Grade: B
Relief Pitching: The Twins relief pitching has had its up and downs most notably the 2 games in Detroit that we let get away. Dennys Reyes has been really good this year and Pat Neshek has come back after a couple bad outings to put up solid numbers. Jesse Crain has been solid and the important thing is he has got his velocity back. Joe Nathan has been awesome at the end just like you expected.
Hitting: The good thing is they have hit good for average and the bad thing is they have only hit 14 Hr's on the year. Justin Mourneau has been what you expected hitting 6 hr and driving in 22 to be among the league leaders. Carlos Gomez has been the sparkplug we expected and Joe Mauer has been good as usual. Because of the lack of power we have not scored as many runs only scoring 3.8 runs a game which makes it harder on the pitching. Grade:D+
Fielding: The Twins have been really good defensively being in league leaders in fewest errors. Our outfield defense has been superb led by Carlos Gomez running down everything in sight and good arms all over the outfield. As long as Gardy is the manager the Twins will always emphasize defense so it will be always good. Grade:A-
Baserunning: This is the strength of the team as their is speed at pretty much every position on the team. Led by Carlos Gomez who had 11 stolen bases and Delmon Young's 6 the Twins have 27 stoled bases so far and its a real weapon for the team. Grade:A
Overall: The Twins had a decent month going 13-14 and doing alot of good things and the big thing is they didn't get blown away out of the gate. The Twins need to hit better if they want to contend all year round. The pitching will keep us in most games but the hitters are going to have to pick it up if the Twins want to be contending come August.
Pitcher of the Month: Nick Blackburn- Nick has been a big surprise for the Twins going 2-1 and a 3.52ERA in 6starts. I was not big on him going into the season but he has really impressed me this year pinpointed his fastball and placing his curveball and slider. The only thing that concerns me is he doesn't strike out alot of batters striking out only 19 batters in 38 innings. You would like him to miss some bats because it makes it so much harder on his defense everyone has to be perfect to get hitters out, but im knitpicking Nick has had a good month and if he can continue it he will be with the Twins for a long time.
Hitter of the Month: Justin Mourneau- Justin has done what we all expected him to do after signing his new 80million 6 year deal and he has delivered. Justin hit .268 with 6hr's and 22 rbi's with a .495 slugging percentage and a .840 OPS. The only thing that i can find wrong is his average is a little low and that is probably because he has been swinging at some bad pitches, but all in all it was a good month for Justin and i expect that can of production every month for the Twins.