Originally written February 16, 2013 on The Rhino and Compass:
When the pitchers and catchers reported, I had 5 questions for those guys. Now with the rest of the team reporting, I have a few queries for them too. Just like last time, I am going to split this into two groups. Three questions for the infielders, two for the outfielders. INFIELD Did anyone remember to bring bats? OK, we know that Justin Morneau and Trevor Plouffe have a little pop, but the middle infield? What an incredible void of offensive prowess. With as bad as Eduardo Escobar and Jamey Carroll and Pedro Florimon are with the stick, they had better be Ozzie Smith with the glove. Or, you know, play for the Twins. Because that way they will make the major league roster. This raises another good question though…. What is considered a “good” year for the middle infield? The middle infield is not good at hitting. That’s often a tough pill to swallow, even if the players are handy with a glove. The middle infield options the team has are supposed to be smart and capable defenders. How much will they need to hit for fans to be OK with their presence in the lineup? If they hit like Dozier or Nishioka, but can field, will that be OK? Because both were probably better with the bat than any of the options the Twins are working with (if only marginally) Hey, Trevor Plouffe, are you really that bad in the field? All off-season, the Twins were rumored to be looking for someone to push Plouffe. It seemed like, last year the fact that he was out of options as a pretty good push, as he hit 24 home runs with an average of .235 that was hurt severely by a very low BABIP (.244). If he had as many balls in play drop as he was used to, he would have been at least a .250 hitter. Would that have made it better? Or is he just so bad in the field that, in the minds of a certain manager (or general manager) he needed to be replaced. But I mean, if a power hitting third baseman was so easily replaceable, why has it taken so long to find someone to man the hot corner since Koskie left? Keep on doing your thing, Plouffe. OUTFIELD Hey, where is everybody? Ben Revere and Denard Span not only made up 2/3rds of the outfield, but were also outgoing, good natured guys, and their presence on the field will be missed in the clubhouse as well. Nobody was signed in their stead, and many familiar youngsters will return to camp, but this time with a better chance at making the team. (Prediction: The Twins will have a really tough time keeping Oswaldo Arcia off the team) What are you doing out here? Hey, Ryan Doumit, didn’t I see you back when pitchers and catchers reported? Why are you playing the outfield? Chris Parmelee? Shouldn’t you have been in the infield? Why are you here? You mean our right fielders are going to be a first baseman and a catcher? At least you guys can hit. Same goes for you, Willingham. I know you belong in the outfield, but… at least you can hit.
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