Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Punto poll

We had 54 responses to last week's poll question: If Nick Punto would sign for one year, $1 million, should the Twins bring him back?

No. 8 did better than I expected: 35 (64 percent) said yes, 19 (35 percent) said no.

Nick Punto: 21 career
triples, 13 career home runs
Here's what I kinda-sorta expect: The Twins will let Orlando Hudson and J.J. Hardy go (Hudson's departure is apparently a given) and lean on their internal candidates to fill the middle infield. That would allow them budgetary wriggle room on offering their veteran relief pitchers arbitration -- a topic I expect to explore in the coming week.

The primary candidates in that scenario for shortstop would include Alexi Casilla and Trevor Plouffe, with Brendan Harris and his guaranteed major-league salary a consideration as well. The primary candidates for second base would be Casilla and Luke Hughes, with Matt Tolbert a possiblity but a more likely choice as the chief utility infielder.

That's five candidates for a minimum of three jobs (shortstop, second base and utility infielder), none of them established major leaguers. I suspect Ron Gardenhire would prefer to have his Punto security blanket on hand in that scenario -- and the deal would be for a low guarantee with playing time bonuses, and no certainty that he's making the roster this spring.

Punto has his flaws, but he can probably do better than that on the open market. But if he's Gardenhire's security blanket infielder, Gardy's also something of a security blanket for him. This can happen.

New poll up.

1 comment:

  1. What is wrong with people? I just have never understood where all this love for Punto comes from. Why can't most people see that he is a far below average player. I hear this all the time. "But he plays so hard and is so amazing at defense". Sliding into first base does not mean you are playing harder than everbody else. Most MLB players do play as hard as they can and just as hard as Punto. Punto appears to amazing at defense because he makes a lot of plays look a heck of a lot harder than they really are. He has a very very weak arm. I am not saying he is horrible at defense, he is an above average fielder and he has good range but he is by no means a gold glove caliber fielder at any position and his definsive play does not warrant a spot in our lineup or in any teams lineup. We all know his bat is useless so I don't even need to talk about that. Remember that baserunning mistake against the Yanks in the 09 playoffs? He isn't anything special at running the bases either. He can steal some bases but not a huge threat. He has pretty good speed and can take the extra base but so can Casilla and a handfull of minor leaguers who actually have some potential to be good players in the MLB. We would not have made the playoffs this year if Punto wouldn't have gotten hurt. Valencia got a chance to play because of the injury and without him we probobly don't make the playoffs. For the love of God please do not bring Punto back. Give some kid a chance to develop. There is no way they can do any worse than Punto.