Yeah, had Joe learned a corner OF spot in addition to 1B, as 80% of posters on this site were clamoring for upon his move from behind the plate, there'd be much more incentive to keep him now. Joe as a 1B and 4th OF would have been preferable to Robbie Grossman, that's for sure.
As such, I think the Twins can do better with that spot in the lineup. He's got too much status in this organization to be a bench player. My vote is for Sano, Austin and Kepler to split reps at 1B until they call up Rooker.
If you bring Joe back and Rooker is raking, Rooker is blocked. If Austin finds his way, he's blocked. If Sano is struggling defensively at 3B, he's blocked from playing 1B. Joe's not good enough to guarantee a starting job, but pushing him to the bench would never happen, even for the betterment of the team. If the team was going to go with a subpar offensive 1B it needs to be someone they don't have to risk alienating. Unless they're more concerned about PR, they need to take sentimentality out of this decision.
I love Joe and I think he can help us win ball games in 2019 and would be happy to have him back.
However... he can end up hurting us more than he helps us if he is not managed correctly and right now... I see no indication that he will be managed correctly.
The chain reaction would be things like:
Joe comes back
Molitor hands Joe the 1B job and deploys him like he did this year. Joe plays everyday apart from his regularly scheduled days of rest
As a result... Tyler Austin takes over the Logan Morrison role as the primary DH with 1B on Joe's regularly scheduled days of rest.
As a result... The option of Playing Sano at DH is greatly reduced.
As a result... Sano plays much less 1B and DH which forces Sano into the everyday 3B job. Which prevents us from signing or trading for a different 3B such as Donaldson or Escobar or whoever.
In addition... This prevents Kepler being utilized as a 1B on occasion.
As a result of that... You don't sign a 4th outfielder because you don't have space due to the lack of OF Flexibility to accommodate the 4th OF or potential Jake Cave playing time goes unrewarded if he is producing.
After it is all said done... you've just repeated the same mistake made in 2016 and 2018 by limiting your options.
And yes... all of this can stem from simply bringing back Joe... who I love.
Until we get a manager who can manage 25 guys better than they were managed this year. I see problems with Joe on the roster in 2019 and that's a shame because I think he can help us win games.
A Skeleton walks into a bar and says... "Give me a beer... And a mop".
President of the "Baseball Player Positional Flexibility" Club
Strike Zone Automation Advocate
I'm not a starting 9 guy!!!