Sure it may seem like a small accomplishment to many teams and organizations in baseball, but winning three out of four against the Boston Red Sox and climbing over .500 31 games into the season is no small feat for the Minnesota Twins. For a team that was expected to be a bottom feeder for most of the season, this team is off to a strong start and is surpassing expectations with every game. While expectations may have been low and even though there is a lot of season left to play out, 2013 has certainly turned into an interesting season so far.
A lot of the turnaround can be credited to the strong pitching that the Twins have been fortunate to have and Kevin Correia, once again, was good enough to get the win on Thursday night. Correia went 5.1 innings giving up nine hits and three runs to earn the victory. While it may not have been his most dominant start, it was good enough to keep the Twins in the ballgame and that is all they can ask for at this point.
In addition to Correia, a bright spot in Thursday night’s game was the offensive display of Oswaldo Arcia. Arcia hit his third homerun of the season, a two-run shot off of John Lackey in the sixth inning, and is beginning to solidify himself at the majors. What may have been a temporary call-up to replace the injured Darin Mastroianni may have turned into a long-term solution for the Twins. Arcia clearly figured into the long-term plans of the Twins, but few thought he would be making his permanent debut with the team until late 2013 at the earliest. Circumstances have sped up this process and Arcia has done nothing to hinder his chances of staying at the majors for a long time.
With Arcia in the lineup, the Twins have options for what to do on a nightly basis. With these options, they now can mix and match their lineups to best fit the matchup that they are facing on any given night. As a result, you are seeing a Twins’ lineup that is emerging as one of the team’s strengths which many believed would be their only strength heading into the season. If Arcia can continue to hit and provide a spark in the middle of the lineup, the Twins are an immensely more talented team. If players like Arcia can continue to play well collectively, it may also mean the Twins could remain in contention throughout the entire season.
With the American League Central looking like a wide open race at this point, anything can happen. In order for the Twins to remain in the conversation, they are going to have to beat quality teams and continue to get strong performances out of players like Arcia and Correia. After Thursday’s night’s victory, there is only one thing to say that can best sum up the 2013 season for the Twins: so far, so good.