Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Infield Logjam

As many of you may know, we have lots of infielders in camp, none of whom (aside from Morneau) really stand out.  They way I see our starting infield should be as follows: 1B Morneau, 2B Harris, 3B Lamb, SS Everett.  We should keep Punto on the bench and depending on how they perform in the spring one of Buscher or Watkins.  I think Casilla should move to his natural position of SS and play everyday there in AAA.  He is clearly very raw and would not benefit at all from riding the bench and getting ragged on by Gardy.  So assuming we carry 12 pitchers, which we usually do, our roster looks like this: C: Mauer, Redmond; 1B: Morneau, 2b: Harris, Punto; 3B: Lamb, Buscher/Watkins; SS; Everett; OF:Kubel, Young, Cuddyer, Monroe, Pridie (or one of the other guys, too close to call).  Obviously we can see Punto’s value since he can play 3 positions.  Whereas Buscher can backup 3B or 1B.  Watkins can back up third, is trying to be emergency catcher which immensely adds to his value, and I’m sure in a pinch he can play some second.  For a guy who has been in the minors for a decade, I’m sure he won’t let a little position unfamiliarity stop him from playing in the majors. 

7 comments

7 Comments so far

  1. sirsean February 28th, 2008 10:21 am

    Word is that Buscher is crushing it down there. I think that puts him above Watkins at this point.

    It’s too bad he doesn’t bat right handed. He has to try to beat Lamb for the 3B starting spot, and I don’t think Gardy’s going to let that happen (no matter what).

  2. Texas February 28th, 2008 4:20 pm

    If that’s true I like Buscher although the only way that he sees the field consistently is if Lamb gets hurt. Although I like Watkins as versatile as he is. I’m surprised lil Nickie Punto isn’t taking some reps behind the plate! Now i’m off to the greatest show on earth: The Minnesota State High School Wrestling Tournament!

  3. tosagujlc hiefrjlm April 19th, 2008 10:10 am

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  4. UncleBumpa April 21st, 2008 11:34 am

    Gardy’s not great, but I disagree with the premise that he should be fired. He’s better than 80% of the managers in the majors, and he does a pretty good job with the limited talent he has.

    He should push the ownership more, for better talent.

    He should take young players more seriously, and not make comments like “… I can’t understand a word he says, but he’s always smiling, so we get along …”

    He should get a new hitting coach.

    He should tell GoGo Gomez that if he bunts foul again, two stikes or not, he will get a $1,000 fine.

    He has been given the assignment of continuing Tom Kelly’s mgmt style, and he is doing that well. Gardy & TK were both slap-hitting, marginal talent Major Leaguers; and they both have too much sympathy for young, slap hitting, marginally talented players like Jason Bartlett, Adam Everett and Nick Punto.

    The overhaul of the lineup during the off-season was a miracle. If Gardy can get Busher & Harris & Tolbert & Young & Gomez to look like major leaguers, the Twins will finish ‘08 above 500, and be a contender for the playoffs for several years.

  5. sirsean April 21st, 2008 12:18 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly about the hitting coach — but I think the biggest problem there is an organizational philosophy of how you’re supposed to hit (swing at everything, singles to the opposite field are the pinnacle of hitting, walks are for dorks) that must be upgraded to match the good, modern offenses (wait for your pitch, home runs and doubles are good, walks will usually end up scoring so DO IT).

    You’re right about Gardy’s continuation of TK’s management style, but I don’t think that’s a good idea. At some point the organization has to realize that the game has passed that old-school game by.

    I’d support a $1000 fine for bunting with 2 strikes. It’d make more sense than the $1000 fine he handed Casilla for sleeping in once.

    Bartlett really wasn’t a slap hitter. He was one of the top 5 best hitting shortstops in baseball last year.

    I think “80% of managers” is a bit of an exaggeration … he’s the 4th best manager in the AL Central (Wedge, Leyland, Hillman are 3 excellent managers). At least Ozzie’s still around to make Gardy look good.

  6. UncleBumpa April 21st, 2008 1:58 pm

    organizational philosophy of how you’re supposed to hit (swing at everything, singles to the opposite field

    That’s how you get marginally talented players to survive in the majors. It’s OK for Punto and others who really can’t hit a screamer down the line, and sometimes it’s a way for a good hitter to break out of a slump, but it’s no way to run a talented lineup. It will be the death of Kubel; and Monroe (if he buys into it).

  7. sirsean April 21st, 2008 7:09 pm

    It may also be a big reason Mauer hasn’t even tried to develop any bat speed, and Delmon Young is buying into it hook, line, and sinker. (He never had much patience at the plate, but he’s stopped trying to swing hard, instead trying to slap singles.)

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