San Francisco Giants shouldn’t look at Twins for model of turnaround
By Daniel Sperry
The San Francisco Giants are currently on pace to go 62-100, unless they can avoid being swept in their final series of 2017. The best they can be now is 65-97. Dismal. One team though has shown that you can turn it around immediately following a season with a significant amount of losses. But there is a problem there for the Giants, which is why they should ignore this feat.
A fair amount of San Francisco Giants fans are probably looking at the 2017 Minnesota Twins as an example of how the Giants could turn it around. The Twins lost a whopping 103 games in 2017, and then turned it around and landed a wild-card spot last night. They are the first team in baseball history to lose 100 games and make the playoffs the following year.
It’s an incredible feat and they should be celebrated for the job they’ve done. Paul Molitor has done a great job with a young team, that was expected to lose 103 or more again this year.
The 2018 Giants should actually look to the Twins for emotional and sentimental inspiration. They’ve shown that you can actually come back from the depths of despair in one season. But to get any ideas that the Giants could actually do the same is ludicrous. Let’s break it down.
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The Twins average age in 2016 when they lost 103 games was 27. The San Francisco Giants average age this year has been 29.6. That’s pretty significant. The Twins have a roster loaded with decent veterans, and incredibly good, young talent. The Giants roster doesn’t contain any of that, and without a major overhaul next year they won’t come close.
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The Twins grew up in 2017. That’s why they did what they did. The Giants will just continue to grow old if they keep everyone around. Besides, they don’t have a player half as talented as Byron Buxton in their system, so an influx of solid young talent isn’t within the realm of possibility. Besides, even if the Giants wanted to speed up the process for some of their younger guys, they elected not to, and continued to run out Pablo Sandoval when the season was over.
It would be silly to think that the Giants roster could be able to do what this Twins team did. Even if you add a bunch of new pieces to the Giants in 2018, it still just may not be good enough. It’s incredibly hard to have that turnaround without having the perfect situation like the Twins have.
They have a young roster that essentially grew up in 2017, the Giants do not. The Twins play in a very weak AL Central, the Giants play in a three team strong NL West. You see what I’m getting at?
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I’m not trying to say that this team won’t turn it around next year. They have every chance to do it. It’s just going to be done differently. The Twins aren’t a logical model for a quick turnaround because the situations don’t mirror themselves. The Giants can do it, but they’ll have to do it their own way. They also have to get it right this offseason. They can’t afford any mistakes.