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Gardy Shares Projected Starting Lineup for Twins

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 03:56 PM

Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire was on a Twins Caravan stop in Mason City, Iowa. When asked who his starting lineup would be, he answered. According to Twins new radio voice Cory Provus, the lineup would be

Denard Span LF, Jamey Carroll SS, Joe Mauer C, Justin Morneau 1B, Josh Willingham RF, Ryan Doumit DH, Danny Valencia 3B, Alexi Casilla 2B, Ben Revere LF

Obviously injuries have the potential to alter this lineup, but if this is the Twins primary lineup, I'll take my chances! What do you think?

#2 Parker Hageman

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:32 PM

That lineup is so impossibly scrappy.

#3 Chad Jacobsen

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:34 PM

Not too many surprises here but I like it as well. I know Gardy probably wouldn't do it but what are your thoughts on splitting Mauer and Morneau up by putting Willingham in between? We don't know if Morneau will be back to full strength or have his timing yet and having him hit cleanup could be a risk to start the season off. Willingham has the power which could play well hitting clean up. Just a thought.

#4 Seth Stohs

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:38 PM

I think eventually that would make a lot of sense. I think that having Willingham protect Morneau might give him some pitches to hit early in the season, hopefully gaining some confidence. If Morneau can be right, he needs to hit 4th. I think protecting him with Willingham helps him get there... If not, then Morneau needs to move down anyway.

#5 Parker Hageman

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 04:52 PM

I think once the Twins run into more left-handed starting pitching, you'll likely see Willingham inserted between Mauer/Morneau much like Cuddyer had been in the past...To Seth's point about protection, this notion has been almost thoroughly debunked as being a overhyped factor. Essentially, studies have shown that the beneficiary receives just about the same types of pitches. Where they get some effect from having a good hitter behind them is that during 3-2 counts, they are more likely the receive a strike/fastball as the pitcher often does not want to put an additional hitter on base with a good hitter coming up. That said, the overall effects have been immeasurably small. There may be some psychological value to it but the performance has not shown "protection" makes an ounce of difference.

#6 Chad Jacobsen

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Posted 06 February 2012 - 05:32 PM

Great point Seth, I guess I didn't consider the angle of Willingham providing ample protection for Morneau and allowing for him to see better pitches thus helping his confidence. Parker, you know way more than me about the stats behind the thinking of splitting up hitters and you make a great point. I like the way the lineup is stacking up so far, will be interested to see how it pans out towards the end of Spring Training.