Wednesday, September 11, 2013

A passing of the baton

Oswaldo Arcia accepts the congratulations of
third base coach Joe Vavra as he rounds the bases with
his sixth-inning solo home run Tuesday.
The Twins lineup the past few days has had the air of a new era — even beyond the absence of the injured Joe Mauer and the traded Justin Morneau.

The top half of the order was the same Monday and Tuesday: Alex Presley, Josmil Pinto, Brian Dozier, Oswaldo Arcia.

Three of those four opened the season in the minor leagues. The other (Dozier) opened the year at the bottom of the batting order.

And now they're filling the prime lineup spots — not only against another also-ran, as on Monday, but against a legitimate contender as well.

Obviously, Mauer's return, whenever that comes, will shake this up a bit. Maybe Mauer will hit second; maybe he'll hit third. (I'd prefer he hit second.) Presley figures to remain the leadoff guy; Arcia should be locked into the cleanup spot. Pinto, by process of elimination, will probably drop in the order.

But he'll probably remain higher in the lineup than the likes of Ryan Doumit and Josh Willingham — and he should. The veterans who hit in the middle of the order all year didn't produce. Now the kids get their turn.

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