Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Cuddyer at third

Michael Cuddyer is playing third base again today, and Joe Christensen (Star Tribune) says in his blog that Ron Gardenhire says Cuddy's open to playing there after interleague play is over.

Once the Twins get the DH back, of course, they won't need to play Cuddyer there to keep him, Jason Kubel and Delmon Young all in the lineup. It would open more time for Jim Thome, but Joe C. has Gardy saying that Thome physically can't do that on a daily basis.

Meanwhile, the question remains if Cuddyer is worth playing at third. In his first two games there, Cuddyer had one fielding chance. I wasn't able to pay sufficient attention to those games to see if there were base hits that became hits because of his defense.

Tonight — I'm writing this as I watch it — the Brewers' first run came on a hard-hit ball that got past Cuddyer for a double. Would a real (good) third baseman have made the play? I suspect so. The Brewers next two runs were set up by a bunt single by former Twin Carlos Gomez toward third. Go-go, of course, will bunt on anybody, but having Cuddyer there might be like having a neon bunt sign flashing.

And all this for the dubious benefit of having Jason Kubel in the lineup against a left-handed starter. I know Manny Parra is exhibiting an odd backwards platoon split this season, but I wouldn't put much weight on that continuing.

This doesn't say much for Danny Valencia or Brendan Harris, not that anything is going to speak well for Harris in 2010. I wonder how much Valencia's quick out in the first inning Tuesday night, when the Twins had Chris Narveson on the ropes, played into the decision to play Cuddyer tonight.


This is the 500th post since we moved my blog to Blogger a bit more than 12 months ago. I may not be real good, but I am prolific.


  1. Congrats on 500 posts! Do you think that Gardy gets a bonus based on the amount of pitching changes he makes? It just seems like he micro-manages the pitching changes and over-thinks the situation. I'm still shaking my head at removing Liriano with two outs and having thrown less than 80 pitches. A tad hasty in my book, especially when recently the starters have had trouble getting out of the second inning.

  2. I didn't have a problem with pinch-hitting for Liriano in the sixth. The Twins were behind and it looked like a good chance to do some damage against Parra, It didn't pay off, but I'll buy into the old Casey Stengel reply to questions about pinch-hitting early in the game: "Whadda want me to do, sit there and lose?"

    The pitching changes weren't as damaging as the defensive problems from Young, Cuddyer, Hudson and Punto. The Twins were only charged with two errors, and none of the runs were unearned, but they gave away bases and outs.