After two years of insisting that Mauer and Morneau simply can’t hit back to back because they’re left handed, Gardy’s had them hitting 3 and 4 for a few weeks, since Cuddyer’s injury. It seemed like a temporary situation which would end once Cuddyer came off the DL. Well, he came back and instead of going into the 3 hole, Gardy put him at #5 and left Mauer and Morneau together, saying:
“I kind of like those guys together,” Gardenhire said. “I don’t mind that the lefties are back-to-back at all.”It’s kind of refreshing to see him start to overcome that particular phobia, but it causes other problems. Namely, that Young and Kubel are now pushed pretty far down the lineup. Young batted 7th, which I think can have two possible effects on his development. One possibility is that it takes a little pressure off him, he starts to hit and gain confidence, and he becomes the hitter we paid for. The other is that he’ll see it as evidence that we don’t trust him, it’ll completely shake his confidence in himself and his trust in the team, he’ll get worse on the field, and off-the-field problems may surface. That’s obviously a little alarmist, and the downside probably isn’t as bad as all that. The Twins have usually been pretty good about moving a guy down in the lineup to help him get his feet under him — I’m just hoping the Twins have thought about it.
“He still hasn’t driven the ball like we expect him to do here,” Gardenhire said. “Maybe the warm weather is going to really help him. … But he’s starting to jerk some balls pretty good. He’ll get better. I like [him in the seventh spot] because it stretches our lineup down there pretty good.”It doesn’t really sound like that’s what Gardy was doing. He’s just hoping the warm weather helps (is anyone else getting more worried about the new stadium every day?), and he likes stretching the lineup down. Down? I mean, having a strong bottom of the lineup is always a good thing … but I think I’d rather move the strength up, and get the good hitters on the team more at bats. My lineup advice continues to remain the same, and Gardy’s changing things around, but he seems to be specifically doing the opposite of what we’ve been saying is the right way to build a lineup. Typical. By the way, Gardy expects this to be the default lineup for the foreseeable future. Hopefully it scores some runs, at least.
On a somewhat related note, the team apparently also had a hitting meeting.
“We had a hitting meeting today, talking about getting good pitches and situational hitting and we didn’t do very well at that.”We’ve talked about this before, and the Twins have always been pretty bad at waiting for good pitches and making pitchers work. I doubt having a meeting about it will really have that much of an effect, but I think it’s a step in the right direction. Unless they’re just teaching the wrong things in these meetings, I fully support that and hope the meetings continue. And that it spills over into practices and has an effect on the games.