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Max Kepler - 2014

Adopt A Prospect 2014 Today, 05:17 PM
Player: Maximilian KeplerBorn: 02/10/1993 (21) Birthplace: Berlin, GermanyHeight: 6’4"Weight: 205Position: OFBats: L Throws: L...
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Game Thread: Twins @ Royals, 8/27 @ 7:10pm CT

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:10 PM
Game-time forecast: Partly cloudy. Winds blowing in from right field at 5-10 m.p.h. Temperature around 80. TWINS: SP, Hughes Santana CF D...
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Article: Only One Spot to Address for 2015?

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:08 PM
At a glance, the title of this article might seem a little outrageous. How could one suggest that a team on track for 90 losses needs so...
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Article: Trevor Plouffe: Third Base or Utility Role

Minnesota Twins Talk Today, 05:01 PM
Trevor Plouffe has been the Twins third baseman since the middle of 2012. He is the Twins' longest-serving starter at his current positio...
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Baseball prospectus scouting report on Kepler and Rosario

Twins Minor League Talk Today, 05:17 PM
BP highlighted both in their recent ten pack.     http://www.baseballp...articleid=24500   Rosario entered the season firm...
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The Store


Where Does Carroll Fit In?

Attached Image: Jamey_Carroll_600_321.jpg During the first half of the season, Jamey Carroll seemed to be showing his age. By the All-Star break, he was hitting .234 with a brutal .597 OPS, and he had long since lost his job as the team's starting shortstop. He was certainly making his two-year, $6.5 million contract look like a poor investment.

Since the break, Carroll has looked more like the player the Twins thought they were getting. After finishing 2-for-5 in the nightcap of yesterday's doubleheader, the veteran is now hitting .306/.369/.361 since the Midsummer Classic, a line that compares favorably against his .290/.368/.344 output over the two seasons prior.
[PRBREAK][/PRBREAK]
Even though he hasn't been able to authoritatively claim any position this year, Carroll has clearly been one of Ron Gardenhire's go-to guys, as he ranks fifth on the team with 518 plate appearances. And his production over the past few months has warranted the tread he's gotten. Even though he lacks any semblance of power and he's not a spectacular defender, a .750 OPS from a middle infielder is none too shabby.

So how will Carroll figure into next year's plans? Presently, the team lacks solidity at either middle-infield spot, and relatively speaking, he looks like a pretty appealing option. Then again, it appears that the manager has lost faith in his abilities at shortstop, given that he drawn only nine starts at the position since losing his regular job there in early May.

There's another dynamic in play when assessing Carroll's 2013 role. He has a 2014 option in his contract that becomes guaranteed if he reaches 401 plate appearances next year. Granted, that option is only for $2 million, but he'll be 40 years old in '14 and he's already shown signs of decline this year in spite of his strong second half.

What do you think? Should the Twins move forward planning on having Carroll as their starter at second (or even short) next year with the hopes that his post-break performance is a sign of things to come? Or should they keep him in a utility role, hoping to fill the middle-infield spots with younger players that are potential building blocks, while at the same time improving their chances of avoiding that 2014 option?


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