Fun With Numbers: 12 Down, 150 To Go
Note: All numbers are courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com and are current through Sunday's action.
At 7-5, the Twins are one win ahead of where they were at this same point last year. Past records through a dozen games under Ron Gardenhire: 6-6 in 2006, 8-4 in 2005, 8-4 in 2004, 6-6 in 2003, 7-5 in 2002.
The Twins have hit a combined .254/.310/.372. That looks pretty bad, especially when compared to the .287/.345/.425 they hit last year, but it's important to note that offense is down throughout baseball. The AL as a whole has hit just .250/.321/.390, which is way down from .275/.339/.437 last season and means the Twins are just slightly below the league average in batting average, on-base percentage, and slugging percentage.
Of course, the flip side is that while the Twins have somehow managed to post the exact same 3.95 ERA that they had while ranking second in the AL last season, it's good for just ninth in the league this time around.
In 2006, AL teams averaged 4.97 runs per game while the Twins averaged 4.94 runs scored and 4.22 runs allowed. So far this season, AL teams have averaged 4.39 runs per game while the Twins have averaged 4.08 runs scored and 4.00 runs allowed.
The Twins have hit .264/.340/.372 against right-handed pitchers, .239/.262/.371 against left-handed pitchers, .250/.302/.353 with runners on base, and .258/.302/.342 with runners in scoring position.
After ranking fourth in the league with 34 triples last season (one every 165 at-bats), the Twins have yet to hit a three-bagger in 390 at-bats. The only other AL team without a triple is the White Sox, who've gone 351 at-bats without one after ranking 12th in the league with just 20 last season.
On the other hand, after ranking 11th in the league with 275 doubles last season, the Twins already have 25 two-baggers to rank second in the AL behind only the Blue Jays. Torii Hunter leads the team with eight doubles, which puts him on a record-shattering 108-double pace and explains how he's slugging .523 despite just one homer. Hunter's career-high is 37 doubles, set in 2002 and 2004.
The Twins rank 10th in the AL with seven homers and only Justin Morneau has gone deep more than once. Morneau leads the team and ranks tied for third in the league with four long balls, while Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, and Luis Rodriguez have each gone deep once. Incidentally, if you take out Morneau's contributions, the Twins are hitting .249/.298/.339 as a team. For his career, Juan Castro is a .232/.271/.339 hitter.
Not only do the Twins lead the league with 12 steals, they've yet to be thrown out. By comparison, the Devil Rays rank second with 11 steals, but have been thrown out 11 times.
With 30 walks in 12 games, the Twins rank tied for 12th in the AL. The Mariners are the only team with fewer walks than the Twins, in large part because bad weather has limited them to just eight games. The Indians, who've played just nine games, have drawn 13 more walks than the Twins. Ryan Howard of the Phillies has drawn 16 walks by himself.
Dennys Reyes has the worst ERA on the team at 11.25, yet has appeared in a team-high seven games. Joe Nathan ranks second on the team with six appearances, followed by Matt Guerrier, Pat Neshek, and Juan Rincon with five each. Guerrier leads the team with 8.2 relief innings.
Joe Mauer is hitting .325, but has just two RBIs thanks to a modest .375 slugging percentage and just seven at-bats with runners in scoring position. Luis Castillo and Nick Punto sport OBPs of .304 and .214 in front of Mauer. Mauer sports a .400 OBP in front of Cuddyer and Morneau, which is how he leads the team with nine runs scored.
Positional OPS ranks among AL teams:
C .708 5th
1B .982 1st
2B .525 13th
SS .509 12th
3B .461 14th
LF .384 13th
CF .872 4th
RF .911 5th
DH .752 6th
As you can see, the "piranhas" aren't doing a whole lot.
Nathan faced 262 batters last season, going 7-0 while allowing 38 hits. He's faced 28 batters this season, going 0-1 while allowing 10 hits.
Ramon Ortiz and Carlos Silva have yet to serve up a homer in 22.2 combined innings after allowing 63 homers in 371 innings last season (one every 5.9 innings).
Jason Bartlett has committed four errors in 87 innings at shortstop, but the rest of the position players have combined to play errorless defense. The only other error on the team belongs to Reyes.
After walking 24 batters in 100.1 innings last season, Boof Bonser already has eight walks in 15.2 innings this year.
Cuddyer has gunned down three baserunners in 102 innings in right field after totaling 11 outfield assists in 1,227 innings last season.
Among AL hitters, Morneau ranks third in homers (4), fifth in slugging percentage (.622), total bases (28), and RBIs (10), sixth in extra-base hits (7), and ninth in OPS (.982). Cuddyer ranks fourth in hits (16), seventh in runs scored (9), and eighth in batting average (.356). Hunter leads the league in doubles (8) and steals (4), and ranks second in extra-base hits (9).
Among AL pitchers, Johan Santana leads the league in strikeouts (25), ranks second in wins (2), and fifth in innings (20). Bonser leads the league in homers allowed (5) and ranks ninth in strikeouts (15). Silva ranks third in ERA (0.77). Ortiz ranks second in wins (2). Nathan ranks fifth in saves (3).
Once you're done here, check out my latest "Daily Dose" column over at Rotoworld.