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MLB Minnesota Twins

Minnesota Twins: Grading Their First Half of 2014

Minnesota Twins: First-Half Report Card 2014

Target Field, Minnesota Twins
Rob Carr-Getty Images

The Minnesota Twins went into the All-Star break on a high note, winning five out of seven games on a road trip through Seattle and Colorado. Still, they are just 44-50 on the season and barely hanging on to any faint hope of playoff contention.

Here is my report card in some key areas for the Twins through the first half of the season.

Offense

Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Offense

Brian Dozier, Minnesota Twins
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Dozier (18 home runs, 69 runs scored and 16 stolen bases) and Kurt Suzuki (.309, 37 RBI) have been highly productive, and others have had moments. But the Twins are only near the top of the American League in doubles (183; second) and walks (336; third).

Grade: C+

Defense

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Defense

Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Defense is still fairly hard to quantify with advanced statistics, but the Twins are currently 10th in the American League with a -10.4 UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating; via Fan Graphs.com). But they have made just 45 errors (tied for second-fewest in the American League) with a .987 fielding percentage.

Grade: C

Starting Pitching

Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins
Otto Greule Jr-Getty Images

Starting Pitching

Phil Hughes, Minnesota Twins
Otto Greule Jr-Getty Images

The Twins have had good (Phil Hughes, Kyle Gibson), bad (Ricky Nolasco) and downright ugly (Mike Pelfrey when he was healthy) in their starting rotation thus far, so taking that all into account...

Grade: C+

Relief Pitching

Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins
Justin Edmonds-Getty Images

Relief Pitching

Glen Perkins, Minnesota Twins
Justin Edmonds-Getty Images

Closer Glen Perkins earned all All-Star nod with 22 saves, and Casey Fien (2.23 ERA), Brian Duensing (2.52 ERA) and Caleb Thielbar (2.97 ERA) have also been very good out of the bullpen. Jared Burton's recent improvement, with a 0.82 ERA over his last 12 appearances, bolsters the grade here.

Grade: A

Coaching

Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Coaching

Ron Gardenhire, Minnesota Twins
Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

Given the situation the roster has been in so far this season, from starting pitchers not going deep into games regularly at times to having to use infielders in the outfield, manager Ron Gardenhire and his coaching staff has done the best it can.

Grade: C+