Minnesota Twins 21-37 12.5 games back
- Pitcher of the Month: Nick Blackburn- I am not going to pretend to understand how he does it, but the month of May the last two years have been unbelievable. In the last two May's Blackburn has gone 8-0 with a average era of 2.59 in 11 starts. Hopefully he has a better June in 2011 than he did in 2010 where he imploded and ended up in AAA. I think he will though as long as he can remain healthy. In May though in six starts Blackie went 3-0 with a very good 2.53 era. Nick pitched 42.2 innings including a complete game which is over seven innings a start. He only gave up 35 hits which is way down from his career averages as Blackie has always given up more than a hit an inning so it is excellent for him. The only thing I can knitpick a little is he is walking more guys this year than in years past, but he is not walking a ton as he walked 12 guys in 42.2 innings so it is less than three walks per 9 innings. The stat that really impressed me more than any from Blackie was that he held opponents to a .227 batting average in May way down from the .316 he gave up in April. Nick Blackburn was one of the top pitchers in baseball in the month of May and here is hoping that he can build on this because if the Twins want to make a historic comeback they need Nick Blackburn to be a middle of the rotation starter much like he was in May.
- Hitter of the Month: Alexi Casilla- I never ever thought that I would be writing this as I have been as hard on Alexi Casilla as anybody. However, especially starting the second part of May until now Casilla has been the best hitter in the Twins lineup. Take a moment and reread what I just wrote because writing that myself I am having a hard time believing it. Before we go ahead to just May look at the last six weeks from Casilla. In those games Casilla is hitting .329 with five doubles and three triples. Those are what the Twins were hoping they would get out of Casilla when they allowed JJ Hardy and Orlando Hudson to leave after the season. He struggled so mightily the first six weeks that most of us had given up on him. In May he put it all together as he hit .288 with three doubles, three triples along with five rbi's and five walks with three stolen bases in five attempts. He had a stat line of .288/.351//.424/.775 which is way better than April where he only had a OPS of .427. Can Casilla keep it up probably not, but I do think he needs to have an OPS in the .600 range going forward. I really think that Casilla has a chance to be a catalyst for the Twins going forward and it will be interesting to see how he does.
I will be back with the Rochester Red Wings and New Britain Rockcats tommorrow so make sure to come back for those.