It’s 2006-style turnaround time for Twins — or time to make some trades

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When trying to conceive of a highly improbable event like the Twins rallying over the final four months of the season to reach the playoffs after this dreadful start, it helps at least to have some sort of precedent.

That’s the way my mind works, anyway: If I’ve seen it happen at least once, I have an easier time imagining it happening again.

So as the Twins have stumbled all over themselves for two months, piling misfortune onto misplays — all at the mercy of questionable roster construction and decision-making — I’ve still had 2006 in the back of my mind.

In that season, on this same June 7 date in fact, the Twins dropped to 25-33 with a walk-off loss in Seattle. There was nothing about that team to make you think anything good would happen, let alone this: 71-33 over their final 104 games to win the AL Central at 96-66.

This year’s Twins, at 24-35, are in roughly the same spot in terms of record, place in the AL Central (12 games back as opposed to 11.5 back in 2006) and also in terms of general sentiment. It sure feels like this just isn’t their year and that the whole organization could be at a crossroads of sorts.

Patrick Reusse and I talked about that on Monday’s Daily Delivery podcast, with Reusse imagining a fire sale of sorts coming soon if the Twins don’t stun us with another run of improved play.

He mentioned Jose Berrios as a likely trade candidate, given his lack of a long-term contract and his impending free agency after the 2022 season — the general time frame for which a trading team could still get value in a trade. Taylor Rogers’ name also came up.

In other words: Their most dependable starter this season in Berrios, the only real homegrown success story in the starting rotation in a long time. And their only consistently dependable relief pitcher. Take those guys off the 2021 team and … woof, not great. But if you’re 24-35 with them, you’re going nowhere so far.

And those are the guys who have value. Not Miguel Sano, whose streakiness is plain to see from your couch and therefore evident to every team. Not Nelson Cruz, who is still productive but won’t command much in return because of his age and contract. Not any number of other disappointing players.

Some of those players might get dealt away anyway, but if you’re talking about reloading with prospects on the cusp of contributing in 2022 and beyond, Berrios and Rogers are the Twins’ main assets.

They also would almost certainly lead any sort of 2006-esque charge, if by some slim chance there is going to be one. There would need to be some help, too, from some sort of Francisco Liriano-like reinforcements. None have appeared so far.

The Twins have a handful of weeks to try, before the math of a comeback and the trade deadline converge. That team 15 years ago followed two months of dreadful baseball with a 21-2 run that put them 11 games over .500 by July 3.

It started with a June 8 win at Seattle, a game pitched by Johan Santana.

This year’s team, if it is going to try to go down a parallel path, will need to start its journey Tuesday against the Yankees with Michael Pineda on the mound.

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