I don't agree with plugging Willingham in at LF until the deadline. Teams already know that he's slow, got an iron glove, but otherwise has an accurate, average velocity throw to second, cutoff and third. That impression won't change at the trade deadline. In fact, potential trade partners might prefer if the Twins don't wear out Hammer's somewhat vulnerable knees by mid-season.
The best technical outfielder of the three is Kubel, by a good margin. He positions himself well, anticipates well, takes good lines, and his arm is very accurate, tho nothing intimidating to a guy rounding first base. Arcia looks to have good potential, but needs a ton of repetitions and needs to work on his footwork throwing. Otherwise he's got very good velocity, and reasonable accuracy, but not as consistently accurate as the other two.
I'd go about half and half with Hammer and Kubel at DH, and play Arcia in RF as much as possible. Should be really interesting how things shake out in spring training. If Buxton looks as good then as he did in the minors, why send him down? And if Hicks also has a good spring, then what does that do to the outfield? It would be nice to have two or three legit outfielders for a change. Buxton, Hicks and Arcia. I'd buy a ticket to see that right now.
I still think that Target Field plays better for the home team with an emphasis on speed and defense. Get on base and steal bases. Old School. It is not a hitters park. Trying to go with boomers is like putting square pegs in round holes. You might be able to pound it in a couple times but doesn't fit very well.
Wouldn't DHing him work against your argument? What better way to keep him healthy then to dramatically reduce the number of opportunities he could get hurt by having him only get off the pine 3-4 times to hit?
Originally Posted by jokin
This is especially odd to me since you and a few others in the thread are campaigning for "win now!" as much as possible and then want to trot out a god-awful fielder in the name of a risky gamble for future trade value.
This actually steals some of my thunder and I agree completely.
Originally Posted by jimbo92107
Any trade partner out there knows Willingham's abilities in the OF. We don't need to showcase that. We need to show his healthy and productive with the bat, and probably rotate him to LF just enough to show he is about what he has always been, and not crippled at this point.
I have to ask, marginal a best in the OF and 35, what do people really expect the Twins to receive back in any possible trade? A top 10 prospect for an expiring contract? A top 20 player? I think expectations should be tempered a bit here.
Further, the Twins are a better defensive club, and thus a better pitching club, without Willingham in the OF every day. Willingham's time at DH is quite limited. Am I the only one who feels Molitor is perfect to help Willingham along with the transition?
And Arcia absolutely has to be in the OF every day. He has some athletic ability and a strong arm. He's WAY too young to be restricted, labeled orpigeon holed at this point.
If Willingham can improve enough to be a decent hitter again then I wouldn't be upset if they kept him instead of trading him, so long as he's not paid over market value. They aren't going to get much in trade value anyway.