No time to panic … yet

I know Minnesota’s sports fans have been conditioned during the past 12 months to expect the worst, but there is no reason to panic in relation to the Twins.

A 5-10 start isn’t what the doctor ordered, but to steal an often-used phrase Major League Baseball isn’t a sprint, it’s a marathon. After tonight’s game in Baltimore, the season will only be 10 percent completed.

You can expect the Twins to improve over the next two months. Their offensive lineup won’t perform this poorly all season long. Delmon Young, Justin Morneau, Michael Cuddyer, Jim Thome and Danny Valencia are too good of hitters to stay as cold as they have been this season. The pitching staff has been OK at best, and as soon as the offense catches up wins will start to pile up.

The best news about the 5-10 start is that the Tigers and White Sox haven’t run away from the pack and put the Twins in a big hole. Sure, the Indians and Royals are playing well, but their pitching staffs will come back to earth and neither team is likely to finish the season with more wins than losses.

The bottom line is it is still early. The Twins are just getting out of the starting blocks, and there is plenty of time to make up ground. The real benchmark is the All-Star break in July. If the Twins are above .500, and within 6 games of first place, they will be just fine during the second half of the season.