Starting pitching must improve in second half

After a forgettable 99-loss season in 2011, the Minnesota Twins have again stumbled in the first half of the 2012 season. After Sunday’s 13-inning loss to the Texas Rangers, the Twins are now 36-49 and 11 games out of first place heading into next week’s All-Star break. Through 85 games last year, Minnesota was 38-47 and eight games out of first place.

If the Twins are to make any sort of a run in the subpar American League Central, it will have to happen immediately after the All-Star break against Oakland and Baltimore at Target Field. Given the deep hole Minnesota is in, it can’t afford any hiccups the rest of the way.

As the Twins take a few days off before resuming on Friday, here’s a look at five things we learned about Minnesota during a tumultuous first half of the 2012 season.

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