July 11, 2007

At the Break (Bench)

Three of the main parts of the Twins team have now been covered with the starting pitchers, the bullpen and the lineup. Now, it's time to finish up the players by looking over the first half of the season with stats and grades for all of the bench players.

As I did with the bullpen section, I've decided to leave out some players simply because they never really stayed with the team that long. Instead, I have listed them at the end of this edition with links to their player profile and stats. In the next edition, I'll go over the overall standing of the team and what the future holds in the coming years.

The Bench:
Jason Tyner
First Half Grade: C-

Jason Tyner had a pretty decent year last season, but hasn't shown very many signs of that so far this season. However, Tyner has shown at times that he can be a good outfielder off the bench having a few good hitting games scattered throughout the first half. I gave Tyner this grade because he did help a few times, but overall hasn't been a big help off the bench. If Gardenhire uses him right in the situations in the second half (no DH), he could help a lot more.

2007 Season Stats

Lew Ford
First Half Grade: C

Lew Ford missed some time to start the season, and that got him off to a slow start. Lately, he has played better, and could help the team out much more in the second half. I gave him this grade because his offense hasn't been horrible, but the injury definitely has hurt his performance.

2007 Season Stats

Luis Rodriguez
First Half Grade: C+
Luis Rodriguez doesn't get to play in a lot of games, but there have been times that he has played, and really stepped up. Overall however, he hasn't been a very big key to the team so far. I gave him this grade because I don't feel the poor offense is all his fault (inconsistent playing time) and there have been at least two games that he's been a big key in. I'm not positive that L-Rod will finish the season with the Twins, but if he does, he'll give everything he's got.

2007 Season Stats

Jeff Cirillo
First Half Grade: B

Jeff Cirillo was signed in the off-season to be the hitter to bat against lefties. Early on, it looked like a horrible signing as he really failed to produce. However, since his surgery, he's played much better. If Cirillo was able to play everyday, he would, but he himself has mentioned that it isn't possible. I gave him this grade because he has been very versatile this season, and his offense has been decent.

2007 Season Stats

Players Left Out:
Alexi Casilla
Chris Heintz
Garrett Jones
Josh Rabe

This finishes up the players side of the "At the Break" series, and there are now two remaining editions -- overall standing of the team and minor leagues.

As always, I would like you readers to leave your thoughts on this edition in the comments section below. Feel free to comment on the players, the grades or anything that has to do with the bench players. If you have not done so, also check out the other three editions of this series by clicking on the links at the top of the post.

All stats and projected season stats are from ESPN.com. While the projected stats do show what the players are on pace for, remember that some will out-perform them while others will under perform. Finally, the projections don't include opponents batting average, earned run average or batting average.