Twins Sign Jason Kubel to a Minor League Deal
by, 12-13-2013 at 12:12 PM (441 Views)
Consider it phase two of Terry Ryan’s sinister plan, Getting The Band Back Together: According to 1500ESPN.com’s Darren Wolfson, the Twins have inked Jason Kubel to a minor league deal.
In November Pioneer Press's Mike Berardino wrote that outfielder Jason Kubel, who was released by the Cleveland Indians earlier in the day, would be interested in a reunion with the Minnesota Twins.
Kubel certainly loved the guys, but he had a different feeling towards the ballpark. When he departed to Arizona as a free agent, he reminisced about Target Field:“Yeah, for sure,” Kubel said. “I loved it here. I really miss the guys. I had a great relationship with Gardy, Andy (pitching coach Rick Anderson), (Joe) Vavra — all the coaches and the few players I remember that are still there. I love the guys over there.”
But he cannot blame Target Field for his 2013 woes."It's no secret that a lot of people didn't like Target Field to hit there," he said. "I just feel like here, I can use the whole field and still put up power numbers instead of trying to pull the ball in the air to get it out. I did get in trouble trying to do that too often, and it showed in the numbers."
In his first year in Phoenix, Kubel thrived. He posted the second-best OPS of his career. He mashed 30 taters. He justified the first-half of his two-year, $15 million dollar contract.
And then? Pfft. Nothing.
One of Kubel's biggest issues in 2013 was his inability to handle fastballs. According to ESPN Stats & Info, in 2012 Kubel hit .298/.368/.616 with 20 home runs and a whopping .309 well-hit average. That dropped considerably in 2013 when he finished the year hitting .261/.315/.400 with just 3 home runs and a well-hit average of .171 off of fastballs.
Opponents attacked the upper portion of the zone more in 2013 (37% versus 30% in 2012) and Kubel’s lack of bat speed resulted in far less contact and power output.
While Kubel may be a bounce back candidate after his 2013 season, the Twins are not in need of a corner outfielder or designated hitter at this point. Oswaldo Arcia, in theory, can provide just as much production as the former Twin can. Nevertheless, the minor league agreement provides the Twins will some needed veteran depth without clogging the major league roster with additional corner outfielders and designated hitters.