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For three years running, the Minnesota Twins and their fans have had to suffer through 486 games of turmoil and lackluster play, challenging the Chicago Cubs and Houston Astros for the title of “laughing stock of Major League Baseball." But not this year.
The club has been consistently at the .500 mark all season, and currently resides at just two games under as of June 6, notes ESPN. This is a far cry from the average of 65 wins and 97 losses that the Twins have posted the last three years, based on Twins.com stats.
So why is this year’s version of the Twins faring much better than the team’s the club has fielded that last three years? The club has a few newcomers whose bats are more lively than past performances would indicate.
ESPN's stats show that the .302 and .295 averages of shortstop Eduardo Escobar and catcher Kurt Suzuki, respectively, are about .050 higher than their career averages. That may not look like very much to the untrained baseball eye, but as every aficionado knows, these statistics are actually deceivingly significant.
The pitching staff has also bolstered itself as well, with the likes of bullpen dwellers Brian Duensing, Casey Fien, Glen Perkins, and starting pitcher Phil Hughes in the midst of career years.
Time will only tell if these Twins can keep up this relevant renaissance, or if they flop during the changing of the Minnesota leaves, as the Kansas City Royals seem to do. Amid the unpredictability that latches onto Minnesota sports like a plague, one thing isn’t very hard to predict: It’ll sure be fun to find out.