Saturday, April 20, 2013

Center field checkup

Ben Revere added a heartfelt message
to his glove's webbing this week after
the Boston Marathon bombings.
We all know that the Twins' center fielder, rookie Aaron Hicks, is having a very difficult time at the plate this young season — just 2-for-45, with 20 strikeouts. His slash line of .044/.157/.044 is ... well,  a lot of pitchers will have better numbers than that.

I don't believe Hicks is truly that bad, and neither does Twins management — and it's not like they have a good option to turn to in his stead anyway. Darin Mastroianni is on the disabled list, Joe Benson isn't hitting in Triple A and somebody in the outfield has to cover the ground that Jose Willingham and Chris Parmelee and Owaldo Arcia can't.

Hicks has the job, in a sense, because Denard Span is in Washington and Ben Revere is in Philadelphia after a pair of trades this winter. The Twins traded those two to get some young pitching — and because Hicks is seen as having a higher ceiling than either Span or Revere.

How are those two doing?

Revere is struggling at the plate in Philly: .221/.264/.250, which isn't quality performance in the leadoff spot either.

Span, on the other hand, has put up his usual kind of numbers: .308/.410/.346. Strong on-base percentage, low slugging percentage.

Wandering down a side note: Hicks has drawn six walks, Span nine, Revere just four. Ruben Amaro, the general manager of the Phillies, declared during the winter: "I don’t care about walks; I care about production.” This week, after the Phillies drew zero walks in four straight games, Amaro was beefing about the lack of walks.

Just think, Mr. Amaro — you haven't had Delmon Young in the lineup yet.

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