Saturday, November 7, 2009

Previewing the 2010 lineup

J.J. Hardy (right) isn't the ideal No. 2 hitter. His career OBP is .323, and he has stolen all of five bases in 571 major league games.

But that's probably where he's going to hit for the Twins.

A reasonable projected lineup:

1) Denard Span, CF
2) J.J. Hardy, SS
3) Joe Mauer, C
4) Justin Morneau, 1B
5) Jason Kubel, DH
6) Michael Cuddyer, RF
7) Delmon Young LF
8) ?????, 3B or 2B
9) Nick Punto, 2B or 3B

Bill Smith, the Twins general manager, apparently said something during Friday's conference call about the Hardy-Gomez trade that suggested Joe Crede is a possibility for 2010 after all. I suppose there's a price tag at which it's worth it to go that route again.

In which case you can plug Crede into the eighth slot. And then Hardy has to hit second, as Young and Crede are even less qualified for the job than he is, and there's no way to justify moving Punto to a maximum plate appearance slot.

If not Crede, then who? Danny Valencia? Matt Tolbert? Brendan Harris? Alexi Casilla? They shouldn't hit second either.

If Hardy hits as he did in 2007-08, his thump will more than make up for his lack of walks. if he hits as he did last season, it's a problem.


Comments on the trade from around the blogosphere:

Rob Neyer: ... Between the money they won't be spending on (Mike) Cameron and the money they won't be spending on Hardy, the Brewers have gained a fair degree of payroll flexibility, which is the lifeblood of every financially challenged general manager.

And of course you have to love this deal for the Twins, who got a player they really wanted (for good reason) in exchange for a guy they didn't really want at all.

Seth Strohs: I LOVE it! What (a) great move! In essence, the Twins solved two problems with one move. First, it solves the SS situation for the next two years. ... the Twins will not bring back Orlando Cabrera, which is a huge positive, offensively and defensively. ... Secondly, the OF situation is set.

Aaron Gleeman (via Circling the Bases): Some trades just make sense and this is one of them.

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