Friday, May 11, 2007

A Story I Know Too Well

My editor posed the following question in the latest entry over at his blog:

"Jason Tyner and Jason Kubel both play in the game today, but Kubel is in left field and Tyner is DH? Gardenhire isn't an idiot - there's gotta be a story there. I sure hope one of the reporters asks about it."
Gardenhire may not be an idiot, but that doesn't mean he doesn't make some poor choices. Going back to the Twins-Royals game John Sharkey and I game logged, we were both puzzled by Gardenhire's choice to DH Redmond when both he and Mauer were in the line-up (and this before Mauer is shelved with a leg problem).

From an outsiders perspective, based solely on observation, ol' Gardenvariety loves him some routine. Both last season and the start of the 2007 saw Redmond bat third in the Twins' line-up on Mauer's off days, as to not upset the rest of the batting order. I don't know which idea is more laughable: (a) that Mike Redmond is a legitimate No. 3 hitter in any major league line-up (never walks, can't run, and hits for zero power), or (b) that professional baseball players the caliber of Justin Morneau, Torii Hunter and Michael Cuddyer are going to have their world thrown out of whack if asked to move up one spot in the batting order every fifth game.

To be fair, the impact of a less-than-optimal line-up construction in 20% of the Twins' games isn't going to have a huge impact. But I also don't observe the best line-up construction or bullpen usage (don't let Reyes face righties and don't let Neshek face lefties in key situations) from the Twins' skipper. If, as my editor has noted, the Twins are going to pat themselves on the back for being a team that does the little things well in order to win close ball games, shouldn't that start with the manager?


Anonymous said...

He may not be an everyday number 3 hitter but he did bat .341 last year. He gets an RBI every 8th at bat. so far this year he's hitting .307 and is still getting an RBI every 8th at bat. Not bad for a backup guy, besides he seems be a good catcher. He's a guy that performs well when called upon.

Kyle Eliason said...

Redmond is an excellent back-up catcher and a servicable starter. I'm glad that he's a Twin, and don't mind seeing him in the line-up. I'd just rather he showed up at No. 7 or so, although now in Mauer's prolonged absense it looks like Gardenhire is reaching that same conclusion.