Rocco Baldelli holds team meeting amid MLB-worst Twins’ disastrous start
The Minnesota Twins continue to suffer through a nightmarish April, with Tuesday’s 7-4 setback to the Cleveland Indians marking the team’s 13th loss in its last 15 games.
At 7-15, the Twins currently own the worst record in Major League Baseball. In an attempt to stop the bleeding, manager Rocco Baldelli held an impromptu team meeting following Tuesday’s loss.
“The point of the conversation was, the fact that I think our guys have played hard. And it’s been about as tough a stretch as I’ve ever seen in professional baseball,” Baldelli said of the meeting, per the Star Tribune. “The way we’ve played these games, we’ve had our guts ripped out over and over again, is what I said.”
Kenta Maeda has been nowhere near his Cy Young finalist form of 2020, and Alex Colomé has been nothing short of an unmitigated disaster in the closer role. Making matters worse, the Twins have struggled mightily in non-regulation games so far this season, going 0-9 in extra-inning and doubleheader-shortened showdowns. Meanwhile, the Twins boast a decent 7-5 record in nine-inning games.
Baldelli went on to note it’s how the Twins are losing ballgames that is causing such angst in the dugout and clubhouse.
“When you have guys go out there playing hard, and we’re playing tight ballgames, and we’re keeping ourselves in these games, and continually it hasn’t ended the way that we wanted it to, that’s very tough on these guys,” Baldelli said. “And we all feel it in our stomachs. It’s hard to just ignore.
“… It’s not just the wins and losses, it’s the way these games have played out that has made them especially tough to stomach,” Baldelli continued. “When that happens, that’s when the team needs to be brought together and discuss things as a group. And that’s what we did.”
Further exacerbating the disastrous situation in which the Twins find themselves, the team’s bats haven’t come alive yet this season, either. The ineffectiveness of the bullpen has only compounded the problems for a team that entered the 2021 campaign as perceived playoff contenders. Further, the team also saw its season upended due to COVID-19 issues.
Things will have to turn around quickly if the Twins want to get back on track. Perhaps Tuesday’s postgame meeting will help the squad turn the page and right the ship. Then again, given the pervasive and widespread issues that led to the team’s MLB-worst start and how all the wheels came off for the Twins in stunningly rapid fashion, perhaps not.