In today's major league baseball, we have 12 and 13-man pitching staffs, which means that benches are three or four players.That bench contingent usually has a light-hitter backup catcher and a couple more players.
Despite their poor record, the last several weeks have seen the Twins evolve into having a near-set lineup.The bench has been three players--the light-hitting catcher (Fryer) along with Chris Parmelee and Eduardo Nuñez.Yesterday, both Parmelee and Nuñez started the get-away game in Kansas City and both guys had good games.
I am not advocating that space be made so these guys can start, but I think they could be part of a pretty good bench, not only for the balance of this year, but also for next year.It appears to me that neither Parmelee nor Nuñez will get a real opportunity to win starting spots next year if they are retained, but I believe they have the makeup and necessary skills to be decent bench options.
First of all, not everyone can be a good bench player.I suggested on another thread that Jordan Schafer would be the example of a guy who might need to play regularly in order to help his club, basing this mostly on his miserable 2/3 season as a bench guy for the Braves.The Twins appear to be using both Parmelee and Nuñez in bench roles, having them sit for three or four games and seldom starting more than one game in a row.Both have pinch hit a fair amount and both have demonstrated some extra-base sock, although neither would be classed as a slugger.Parmelee (first and the corner OF) plays three positions and Nuñez has been used sparingly at second and in right along with left, third and shortstop.Nuñez also offers plus speed.Neither guy is a glove-first type.
I think the Twins will go into 2015 hoping to contend.If they do proceed in this manner, they may well have a bench of Nuñez and Parmelee, even thought these two guys don't have the highest upside.Having versatile, experienced guys coming off the bench and playing sparingly might be the way to go.