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Article: Push Candidate: Brian Navarreto

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 10:16 AM
The first two entries in this series focused on players who are moving up in the system and the question was one of advancing to AA baseb...
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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:07 AM
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Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 10:07 AM
I thought I'd post this to keep you up to date on what I've observed down here at Hammond Stadium, or as the signs everywhere read "Centu...
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Zulgad: Does Schafer have a chance to steal CF

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 09:29 AM
Phil Mackey and Judd Zulgad are in Ft. Myers this week for Twins spring training. Their 9 to 1 radio show is being done live from there w...
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2015 Draft Prospects: Brady Aiken, LHP, IMG Academy

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 08:39 AM
Brady Aiken, last year's #1 overall pick, will be enrolling at IMG Academy in Bradenton, FL according to the school.   Aiken is...
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The Right Field Mess

It was a risk without an acceptable backup plan. The Twins knew that. And it failed. And they’re paying the price. And that price is a .192 batting average.Attached Image: target+field+premium.JPG

That’s the combined batting average of whoever the Twins have played in right field so far. It’s last in the majors. Their combined OPS is .594. That’s the career OPS of Juan Castro. And there isn’t anything close to a solution in sight unless the Twins want to mess with their best hitter.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]

Two weeks before the end of spring training, the Twins shuffled the roster, deciding that Josh Willingham would move back to left field and Chris Parmelee would come north with the club as first baseman, essentially replacing Ben Revere in the starting lineup. The plan would work because Ryan Doumit had the flexibility to play a somewhat passable right field.

At the time, it looked like a solid way to boost the Twins lineup, if Parmelee hit.
When Parmelee fell flat early in the season, the plan went to hell. To his credit, Gardenhire has done a decent job playing musical chairs but any give night, there is position left standing. That position is right field.

Seven players have started there and none of them have more than 13 starts. The projected starter, Ryan Doumit, only has six starts because on any given day there is a spot open at designated hitter or catcher that he can fill. And there is no use having him stumble around right field when it only means a questionable bench player will end up as the DH.

The guy with the most starts is Trevor Plouffe. He would be the best option right now except:

  • He’s hitting .152.
  • He hasn’t shown any ability to hit right-handed pitching.
  • He’s usually already at another spot in the field, playing an infield position now that Danny Valencia is in AAA.
Seventeen starts have been taken by Darin Mastroianni, Eric Komatsu and Clete Thomas. They could all be valuable role players. None of them should be starting consistently in 2012 for a major league team.

That leaves Revere, who has all of seven starts. Defensively, right field is a terrible position for Revere, as it limits his biggest asset (his range) and emphasizes his biggest weakness (his arm). Also, the jury is still out regarding Revere’s offense. He returned to AAA and hit .330 this year, but still hasn’t shown any ability to get on base beyond posting a crazy high batting average. Getting on base needs to be his game.

The best option goes back to the original plan: moving Revere to left field where his defense makes him a real asset and having Willingham play right field. But I’ll excuse Gardenhire for not wanting to jack his cleanup (and best) hitter around.

Like a lot of things the team is dealing with this year, there isn’t an easy solution. Even with a lineup that has stayed remarkably healthy, the Twins find themselves one legitimate bat short of a major league lineup on a consistent basis.


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