Chris Finch, Timberwolves coach (UP ⬆️)
Are the Wolves a superteam?? Slow the roll right there. Minnesota still sits in the 14th spot in the Western Conference and is tied for the third-fewest wins this season in the NBA. BUT the Timberwolves do seem to have found a new gear in the last week, and Finch continues to stress the importance of defense and playing with a sense of urgency. He’s got to be proud of the results. Minnesota is riding its first three-game win streak since winning three straight to begin the 2019 campaign. And, if you want to include the team’s three-point loss to Sacramento on April 21 as a solid effort that fell just short, then it’s fair to say the Timberwolves have been hot the last five times they’ve taken the court. A pair of wins over the league-leading Utah Jazz (not to mention a season sweep) highlights what the future in Minnesota could look like.
Alex Colomé, Twins reliever (DOWN ⬇️)
One of many reasons Twins fans likely can’t sleep at night. Colomé just hasn’t been sharp out of the bullpen his first year in Minnesota and it’s cost the club several opportunities to break out of a frustrating slump. The Twins own just seven wins (the fewest in MLB); keep in mind they started the year 5-2. Colomé is credited with three losses thus far and has allowed 12 hits, eight earned runs, and walked five batters in only 8 2/3 innings of relief. He’s nowhere close to matching his pace of 30 or more saves, which he’s accomplished three times during his nine-year career (2016, 2017, 2019).
Kevin Fiala, Wild forward (UP ⬆️)
You hear a lot about Kirill Kaprizov, for good reason, but don’t forget about Fiala. The 24-year-old left wing has six points in the last four games, including three goals. Coming off a year in which he set a career high in points with 54 and tied his personal best with 23 goals, Fiala has 17 goals and 32 points in 43 games this season, making him a nice 1-2 punch with Kaprizov.
Alex Kirilloff, Twins outfielder (UP ⬆️)
Funny enough Kirilloff made an impact in the postseason well before collecting his first hit in the majors. He ended an 0-for-14 drought at the plate Monday when he whacked a double into left-center. Kirilloff collected another hit the next day as well as his first MLB RBI. Don’t be fooled by his slow start, the future is bright for this former No. 1 pick.
Nick Gordon, Twins infielder (DOWN ⬇️)
Gordon got the ultimate tease. Minnesota called up its former fifth-overall pick for his shot at the big leagues Friday, eight years after being drafted. Sadly, he was sent back down to the alternate training site when Andrelton Simmons was reinstated from the COVID injured list. Gordon never got to step foot on the field in a Twins game, and opportunities will be harder and harder to come by as the season progresses and Minnesota sorts out its early-season struggles.