|2005 Minnesota Twins|
|Major League affiliations|
|General manager(s)||Terry Ryan|
(Bert Blyleven, Dick Bremer)
|Local radio||830 WCCO AM |
(Herb Carneal, John Gordon, Dan Gladden)
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Coming into the year, the 2005 Minnesota Twins were favored to go on and win their division. However, a weak offense and injuries (most notably to Torii Hunter) prevented this from coming to fruition. This led manager Ron Gardenhire to reshuffle his coaching staff following the season. The team finished sixteen games behind the World Champion Chicago White Sox. The Twins have never won four straight division titles in their 104-year franchise history.
The Twins got off to an average start. However, the Chicago White Sox had a fantastic start to the season. The Twins tried to stay close in the standings, but their offense was insufficient. The Twins (83-79) finished in 3rd place behind the Chicago White Sox and the Cleveland Indians, and missed the playoffs for the first time since 2001. The White Sox went on to earn the division title, their first trip to the playoffs since 2000, and their first World Series title since 1917.
|Chicago White Sox||99||63||0.611||--||47-34||52-29|
|Kansas City Royals||56||106||0.346||43||34-47||22-59|
2005 American League Records
Sources:              
Australian Glenn Williams came up for his cup of coffee and played in thirteen games from June 7 to June 28. He hit safely in every game, earning the Twins record for the longest hitting streak to start a career. When he was sent back down, he took with him 17 hits and a .425 batting average. He'd never return to the major leagues, but is working on an active 13-game hitting streak...
These problems were endemic to the team. No starter batted over .300 or hit over 25 home runs; however, Matthew LeCroy managed to hit 17 home runs in part-time duty.
The team's offensive struggles led to an uncertain lineup, with many defensive positions lacking regular starters. The team experimented by bringing in Seattle Mariners infielder Bret Boone to fill the void at second base, but he lasted for only 53 at-bats, hitting .170. The weak hitting led to hitting coach Scott Ullger being reassigned to third base coach after the season was over.
Twins pitchers performed well in 2005. The staff was led by All-Star Johan Santana (16-7, 2.87 ERA, 238 strikeouts) and All-Star closer Joe Nathan (43 saves, 2.70 ERA). However, the weak hitting prevented any other starter from winning ten games. (Jesse Crain, in a stellar year out of the bullpen, did go 12-5.) The anemic offense also may have cost Santana a second Cy Young Award, as he finished with only sixteen victories.
The top end of the rotation--Santana, Brad Radke, Kyle Lohse, and Carlos Silva--pitched well. Many bullpen pitchers had outstanding years, in particular Crain, Juan Rincón (2.45 ERA), J. C. Romero (3.47), and Matt Guerrier (3.39).
Silva in particular had what seemed to be a breakout year, walking only nine batters during the entire season to set a modern-era record (over 188.1 innings, a 0.43 rate). Silva induced 34 double plays to lead the majors, and won the May 20 game throwing just 74 pitches over nine innings. No pitcher has thrown as few pitches in a nine-inning win since 1957.
In early May, the pitching staff was shaken when Major League Baseball announced that Juan Rincón would be suspended for ten days for violating the sport's policy on performance-enhancing drugs. Rincón pitched well both before and after this occurred.
Like his predecessor Tom Kelly, Gardenhire emphasized baseball fundamentals like defense. Despite Hunter's injury, he still won a Gold Glove in center field. Joe Mauer established a reputation as an outstanding defensive catcher, with a .993 fielding percentage. Morneau, not known for his defense, surprised many with a .994 average at first. Luis Rivas was a solid defensive second baseman, but his offensive shortcomings became too much to bear, leading the team to experiment with Boone and Nick Punto at the position. In contrast to Rivas, Michael Cuddyer saw a majority of the time at third base. Jason Bartlett and Juan Castro split time at shortstop, with Castro being the superior defensive player. Shannon Stewart and Jacque Jones both had .985 fielding percentages in the corner outfield positions. Lew Ford saw time at all three outfield positions.
|AAA||Rochester Red Wings||International League||Phil Roof and Rich Miller|
|AA||New Britain Rock Cats||Eastern League||Stan Cliburn|
|A||Fort Myers Miracle||Florida State League||Riccardo Ingram|
|A||Beloit Snappers||Midwest League||Kevin Boles|
|Rookie||Elizabethton Twins||Appalachian League||Ray Smith|
|Rookie||GCL Twins||Gulf Coast League||Nelson Prada|
LEAGUE CHAMPIONS: Elizabethton