2005 Minnesota Twins season

2005 Minnesota Twins season

2005 Minnesota Twins
Major League affiliations
Other information
Owner(s) Carl Pohlad
Manager(s) Ron Gardenhire
Local television WFTC
FSN North
(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.


  • Regular season 1
    • Roster 1.1
  • Offense 2
  • Pitching 3
  • Defense 4
  • Notable Transactions 5
  • Miscellaneous 6
  • Farm system 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9

Regular season

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.

AL Central W L Pct. GB Home Road
Chicago White Sox 99 63 0.611 47–34 52–29
Cleveland Indians 93 69 0.574 6 43–38 50–31
Minnesota Twins 83 79 0.512 16 45–36 38–43
Detroit Tigers 71 91 0.438 28 39–42 32–49
Kansas City Royals 56 106 0.346 43 34–47 22–59



Joe Mauer led the team with a .294 batting average, Justin Morneau led the team in runs batted in with 79, but Mauer hit only 9 home runs and 55 RBI, while Morneau hit only .239.

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.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
HR Jacque Jones 23
RBI Justin Morneau 79
Avg. Joe Mauer .294
Runs Jacque Jones 74


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. Silva in particular had what seemed to be a breakout year, walking only nine batters during the entire season. Many bullpen pitchers had outstanding years, in particular Crain, Juan Rincón (2.45 ERA), J.C. Romero (3.47), and Matt Guerrier (3.39).

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.

Team Leaders
Statistic Player Quantity
ERA Johan Santana 2.87
Wins Johan Santana 16
Saves Joe Nathan 43
Strikeouts Johan Santana 238


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.

Notable Transactions


Twins 40th Anniversary of 1965 World Series.
  • In 2005, the Twins celebrated the 40th anniversary of their AL Pennant win in 1965.

Farm system

Level Team League Manager
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[3]


  1. ^ http://www.baseball-reference.com/b/boonebr01.shtml
  2. ^  
  3. ^ Johnson, Lloyd, and Wolff, Miles, ed., The Encyclopedia of Minor League Baseball, 3rd edition. Durham, N.C.: Baseball America, 2007

External links

  • Player stats from www.baseball-reference.com
  • Team info from www.baseball-almanac.com
  • Twins history during the current decade, from www.mlb.com
  • 2005 Standings