With Justin Morneau out for six weeks following a neck procedure, I think it’s worthy to consider/assess a few of the resulting developments.
The first one is that Ron Gardenhire now finally seems to be considering the option of moving Joe Mauer around the infield. Long suggested by media and fans, the idea that moving Mauer around the diamond to keep his bat in the lineup is probably something that should have been considered prior to now. Then again, hindsight is always 20/20. Still, when Gardenhire mentioned that Rene Rivera could see some time at first, I think that was probably more of an indicator that Mauer should move around more than anything. I do think, however, that if the Twins are serious about moving Mauer around, they need to address the backup catcher situation. I wonder what it would cost to acquire Ramon Hernandez from the Reds…..
Another development is wondering what in the heck is going on with the Twins’ medical staff? First of all, does anyone buy that Morneau will only be out the length of the initial diagnosis? We’ve seen with Mauer, Morneau, Thome, Kubel, Nishioka, and even Young that at least a few days could’ve been tacked onto the back of the intial diagnoses of all of these players, and it certainly makes one wonder who is the chicken and who is the egg in this scenario? Are the players weak, perhaps coddled by an organization that doesn’t want to push too hard, to fast? Or, is this a staff/organization that isn’t doing enough to prevent these injuries, or training their players to maximize their injury prevention? I couldn’t say for sure which it is, and to make any inferrence would be foolish, but there’s certainly something that needs to be evaluated on this front.
This injury also likely saves one of Jason Repko/Ben Revere for the near future. I have to believe the ongoing scenario (in the unlikely event that everyone gets healthy) will be Michael Cuddyer at first, Jason Kubel in right field, and Jim Thome/Delmon Young DH’ing with Revere and Young cycling through in left field. In all honesty, that’s not the worst scenario. A trip to the bottom of the order would do Revere, currently triple-slashing .267/.298/.302, a lot of good. He needs to work on his pitch recognition a bit, because a player with his skill set can’t afford a 3-1 K/BB ratio in the long-term. How does Repko fit into the sitaution? Well, he just doesn’t lose his roster spot. Yet. I really do think the Twins are high enough on Revere to keep him up full-time, which would mean Repko is just biding his time before he gets DFA’d.
My Q&A with Michael Schlact, Twitter superstar and Indy League pitcher, is up on Upper Deck Report here. Personal Note: He’s a very candid and tall guy.
My debut column at Fangraphs is going to be centered around players who are worthy ofAll Star nods but unlikely to receive them. Will Scott Baker be there? Tune in and find out!
For those interested in baseball simulation leagues, I play in two of them, one here and one here, and both are looking for general managers. It’s a very fun, easy to learn game that only requires *maybe* 10-15 minutes a week at during the season (and maybe 30 minutes in the offseason). Shoot me an email at email@example.com if you’re interested!
The Metro Knights picked up another league win last night by defeating the Woodbury Legends, led by superstar catcher Colin Keefe, 4-1 at White Bear Township last night. Player/coach Frank Matteson used his Bugs Bunny-esque repertoire to keep the Legends off balance, picking up a complete game victory to move to 3-0 on the young season. This is actually the first time the Knights, in their fourth year of existence, have been able to beat the youthful legends, whom always field a very competitive squad in the Skyline League. Next up, a double-dip with the St. Paul Mudhens at White Bear Township fields Sunday at 4:00 and 6:30pm.
Random BW.com thought of the day:
It’s impossible to live without a laptop when you’ve relied on it heavily for the past four years.
BW.com suggested YouTube viewing of the day (Hogan v. Sting at Starrcade ’97):
Apologies because I can’t find the third part, but the entrances for this match were absolutely epic. In fact, maybe the best part of the match altogether.