Trade Deadline Preview: Minnesota Twins

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Jun 1, 2014; Bronx, NY, USA; Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Phil Hughes (45) is congratulated by Twins second baseman Brian Dozier (2) as he walks off the mound after the eighth inning of a game against the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium. The Twins defeated the Yankees 7-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

An anemic offense and an inconsistent pitching staff have the Minnesota Twins sitting at the bottom of the AL Central, nine games out of first place entering play on Sunday in a division that has yet to see anyone distance themselves from the pack. The team’s focus last offseason was on upgrading their starting pitching, but little attention was paid to the offensive side of things and the lack of additions seems to be plaguing the team midway through the season.

Minnesota’s offensive efforts have been a mixed bag of results. Phil Hughes has proven to be a worthwhile addition, giving the team an ace atop the rotation with his unexpected performance. The other arms brought in (Ricky Nolasco and Mike Pelfrey) have largely failed to live up to expectations. Health has been a positive, however, as the team has four starters who’ve each made 15+ starts so far in Hughes, Nolasco, Kevin Correia, and Kyle Gibson.

At the plate it’s been a different story. Brian Dozier has emerged as a prime building block, leading the team in home runs and stolen bases despite an underwhelming batting line. Kurt Suzuki has been better than expected behind the plate. Joe Mauer hasn’t quite been himself, but has hardly been a liability.

Beyond that the team has seen few consistent contributors and appears to have multiple holes that will need to be addressed in the coming months.

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