Saturday, July 11, 2009

Fixing the Twins Middle Infield: Internal Options

As baseball rolls through the final weekend before the All-Star break, it is easy to see that some changes are necessary if the Twins are serious about winning the division.

Heading into play on Saturday the Twins’ record is a pedestrian 44-43, one game over .500 and four back of the Tigers in the tough American League Central.

One of the biggest weaknesses for the Twins thus far has been the offensive production (or lack thereof) from the men manning the middle infield. The four men who have seen the most time at second base and shortstop are Brendan Harris, Nick Punto, Matt Tolbert and Alexi Casilla (currently in Triple A).

The four have combined to “hit” a cumulative average of .209 with five home runs, 56 runs batted in and 15 stolen bases. Harris has been, by far, the most productive of the quartet with a .269 average, four home runs and 23 RBI.

Unfortunately, Harris also leads the pack—and the entire team—in errors with six, which is one more than both Punto and Casilla. Tolbert adds two errors of his own, which leads to the middle infield accounting for 18 of the team’s 34 total errors on the season.

The only other regular with more than two errors is Michael Cuddyer who has four, three of which were committed playing out of position at first base. As such, it is pretty evident that the current middle infield options are hurting the team on both sides of the ball and a change needs to be made.

Internal options do exist, but may not be enough to get the job.

Read the rest of the article at BleacherReport.

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