has been primarily
a left fielder as a
I am reluctant to embrace this decision and its myriad ramifications for two reasons:
- Good organizations don't abandon their offseason plan in spring training without better rationale than I'm aware of so far;
- This pretty much ensures another season of lousy defense.
At the core of my discontent: In reviewing the disaster that was 2011, I concluded that the organization's top priority moving on had to be reversing the defensive decline.
Nothing went well in 2011, but I figured defense came first because:
- If Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau and Denard Span are sound, the offensive issues largely fix themselves; if those three aren't sound, the season is doomed anyway;
- The pitching staff is dominated by pitch-to-contact guys, and that's not turning around immediately;
- Fix the defense and the pitching gets better.
The offseason plan, with Ben Revere and Span ticketed for left field and center field, certainly sacrificed power but figured to make up for it by cutting off opposition runs.
The new plan cuts back sharply on Revere's value. If he is in the lineup -- which seems far less likely -- it will be in the outfield spot at which he figures to be least valuable: right field, where his range is less useful and his popgun arm is a true detriment.
What I now expect to see -- and I'll post about this in more detail for Tuesday -- is a lot of Ryan Doumit in right.
An outfield of Willingham-Span-Doumit is no defensive improvement over 2011.