The All-Time Worst Twins: Butch Huskey
Image courtesy of David Richard, USA Today SportsBefore the start of the 2000 season, the Twins were looking to add a player with DH experience. They threw half a million dollars at Huskey and gave him the role. The 28-year old had spent multiple seasons with the Mets before coming to the AL to play with Seattle and Boston. The Twins had a young David Ortiz who would also be fighting for at-bats at DH but the experience factor mattered for Minnesota.
Huskey was a career .268/.313/.437 hitter and he averaged 13 home runs a season before joining the Twins. He had a couple of seasons where he hit 20 home runs and the Mariners gave him a contract for over $1 million in 1999. He would last less than a season with Seattle before being dealt to the Red Sox. Huskey was traded for Robert Ramsay, a left-handed relief pitcher who would only pitch parts of two big league seasons.
During the 2000 season, Huskey made it into 64 games for the Twins and he hit .223/.306/.353 in 215 at-bats. He had 13 doubles and five home runs while playing 36 games at DH, 15 games in RF, and nine games at first base. His best offensive performance might have been a 3-for-4 game on April 20th when he had a double, a home run, and two runs scored. This was in the middle of a seven game hitting streak for the DH. In his last ten games with the Twins, he didn't get a single hit and he ended his Twins tenure with a -1.1 WAR.
As mentioned before, Huskey was brought in to serve as an experienced DH with the club. David Ortiz would actually finish the season as the Twins primary DH. On Opening Day, it was Huskey batting clean-up for the club with Ortiz not in the line-up.
2000 Opening Day Line-Up
1. Todd Walker, 2B
2. Christian Guzman, SS
3. Matt Lawton, RF
4. Butch Huskey, DH
5. Corey Koskie, 3B
6. Ron Coomer, 1B
7. Jacque Jones, LF
8. Matt LeCroy, C
9. Torii Hunter, CF
In an interesting bit of trivia, Huskey would become one of the last players in franchise history to wear the number 42. Major League Baseball had retired the number to honor Jackie Robinson and his contributions to the game. All of the players that were already wearing the number got grandfathered in and they could continue to have the #42 on their backs. Huskey wore the number as a tribute to Robinson before having to switch away from it with the Rockies.
With Ortiz starting to get more playing time at DH and Huskey not exactly performing well, the Twins sent him to the Rockies along with Todd Walker. The Twins got back Todd Sears and cash from Colorado to complete the deal. It was starting to look like the beginning of the end for Mr. Huskey.
He finished out the rest of his MLB career with the Rockies during the last few months of the 2000 campaign. Huskey improved his batting numbers to .348/.432/.565 along with 12 extra-base hits in 45 games. In 2001, he spent the entire year at the Triple-A level for the Rockies before deciding to call it a career.
One of the more entertaining moments in the career of Butch Huskey happened at the Metrodome. He was with the Seattle Mariners at the time but he made sure to leave his mark. Pay special attention to the futuristic jerseys that each club is wearing. Sorry for the quality of the video but it was the best that is available.
While Huskey's Twins tenure was lacking length, there is no shortage of other players who have struggled for longer (and shorter) times for the Twins. Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion about who else should be covered in this series.
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