Does the Twins' rotation stand in the way of a division title?

Updated: July 5, 2002, 9:50 AM ET
By by Thom Henninger, STATS. Inc.
For a second straight season, the Minnesota Twins are generating plenty of excitement during the first half of the campaign. This time around the young Twins are showing signs that they're ready to compete for years to come, with guys like Corey Koskie, A.J. Pierzynski, Torii Hunter, Jacque Jones, Doug Mientkiewicz and the middle-infield tandem of Cristian Guzman and Luis Rivas proving to be solid contributors. Other young players, including Bobby Kielty, Dustan Mohr and Matt LeCroy, are providing depth that Minnesota lacked during the 2001 season.

The development of Minnesota's youngsters is reminiscent of the 1987 Twins, who won the transplanted Senators' first World Series with a core of young talent built around Kirby Puckett, Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky and Gary Gaetti. It's a little early, though, to start thinking about a World Series appearance for the new crop of kids. The big question facing the Twins as the first half comes to a close is their starting pitching. The rotation's ERA ranks among the worst in the majors.