Slow start to season now a distant memory for red-hot Twins’ Gonzalez
FOX Sports North
Marwin Gonzalez, Twins infielder (⬆ UP)
Remember on May 1 when Gonzalez had a mere .159/.233/.244 slash line to his name? Well, that’s changed. Gonzalez is currently riding an 11-game hit streak and has reached base at least once in 16 of 17 games this month. He’s hitting .358 in May, boosting his slash line to a semi-respectable .255/.329/.393. Oh, and Gonzalez also crushed a two-run homer to wake the Twins up in the sixth inning of their 8-3 win over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Ethan Finlay, Minnesota United FC forward (⬆ UP)
When Finlay found the back of the net Saturday in the Loons’ 1-0 victory over the Columbus Crew, it was a big moment. Not only did it earn three points for Minnesota United FC, but it also marked the first goal Finlay tallied since he suffered a season-ending ACL tear in late April last season. Finlay, acquired by the Loons in a trade with Columbus in 2017, now has 36 career goals and is on track to play a full 34-game season for the first time since 2016.
USA TODAY SportsBrace Hemmelgarn
Michael Pineda, Twins pitcher (⬆ UP)
Pineda is on a similar timeline to Gonzalez. After holding Cleveland scoreless through four innings in his season debut March 31, Pineda went on to allow 23 earned runs over his next 30 innings (six outings), adding up to a bloated ERA of 6.90 in that span and putting his role in the rotation in a bit of jeopardy. But Pineda has posted three straight quality starts ever since, including Tuesday night when he allowed three runs on four hits in six innings of labor.
USA TODAY SportsBruce Kluckhohn
Ryan Saunders, Timberwolves head coach (⬆ UP)
It’s a new era at the Target Center. Minnesota, which officially hired Saunders as its permanent head coach Monday, now boasts the youngest head coach in Saunders (33 years old) and president of basketball operations in Gersson Rosas (40). Saunders went 17-25 in his 42-game stint as interim head coach to finish off last season, although key players like Robert Covington, Derrick Rose, Jeff Teague and Taj Gibson all missed significant time due to injury. Saunders now has a chance to prove what he can do with a full offseason installing his schemes and, hopefully, a healthy roster.
Miguel Sano, Twins infielder (➡ EVEN)
Sano made his 2019 season debut Thursday and notched a pair of doubles. Sano then clobbered his first homer of the season in Minnesota’s 18-4 rout of Seattle on Saturday night, and added the deciding two-run shot in Monday’s 3-1 win over the Angels. The long ball is back, but so are the strikeouts -- Sano has fanned nine times in 23 plate appearances, which is right on track with his career-worst 38.5% strikeout rate from 2018.