"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?