Reading Room: The Twins are mortal

In case you missed it, the White Sox didn't just sweep the Minnesota Twins this weekend. The White Sox:

Beat them at Target Field.
Beat them with sellout crowds at Target Field.
Had better starting pitchers.
Had a better bullpen.
Had a better offense.
Played better defense.
Beat them with the long ball.
Beat them with the running game.
Let the Twins lose.

That last one is the biggest of them all. For this entire season, the other 12 American League teams were more than happy to kick the Twins while they were down. But they still had the White Sox under their spell, convincing them that Ron Gardenhire could will a Pony League team to 80 wins.

This series proved that there's no particular Minnesota magic. The Twins are a below-average team that played poorly. They failed to play sound defense -- especially when factoring in how poorly they controlled the running game -- and their command-oriented pitchers couldn't pull themselves out of their slumps.

On the flipside, take out Adam Dunn, and the White Sox forced the Twins to make plays. Sox pitchers walked only one batter over 27 innings. They played rock-solid defense (again, except Dunn) and made Minnesota earn every base. The Twins could not keep up.

Hopefully everybody associated with the White Sox remembers this down the road. In the past, the Twins have beaten the Sox because their good players played well. These Twins are short on good players. The combination of injuries and inactivity decimated them, and without Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer (as we know him) and Denard Span (ditto), the special sauce was all they had this weekend. And it wasn't enough, because it's very little to begin with.

 

Christian Marrero Reading Room

Based on how well the weekend went, it appears that Zach Stewart is Edwin Jackson in "Six-Man Rotation 2: Electric Boogaloo." I'm not convinced that Stewart can hold his own, because he spent an awful lot of time in the upper half of the strike zone against a bad lineup. It reminds me of when Lucas Harrell pitched around five walks to beat Oakland in July of 2009, after the Sox traded Clayton Richard before his scheduled start. Good results, but the approach seems lacking.

But hey, he's worth at least one more look if it helps Peavy stay as sharp as he was on Sunday.

Mike is a bit more bullish on Stewart.

And here, Paul Konerko harshes everybody's mellow. Combine the news of his slow recovery with ...

...and it seems that we'll be getting a good look at Brent Lillibridge, World's Tiniest First Baseman.

Ozzie Guillen plans to keep Adam Dunn out of the lineup, and said that he'll need to change his offseason approach if he wants to recover in 2012. At any rate, I hope "mental break" is to "benching" what "right-sizing" is to "job elimination," because after watching his escapades in the field this weekend, this version of Dunn is of no use.

And speaking of harshmellows, J.J. rightfully says that if the Sox turned any corner, it's the one the Yankees shoved them behind after the four-game sweep last week.

Doug Padilla expounds on the changes in Alex Rios' hands, although I still think it has more to do with balance. Look at the way he got after this pitch on the outer part of the plate.

John Danks is saying all the right things, but with no talk of contract extensions imminent, it's just another file for the record at this point.

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