August 10, 2007

Cleaning the Twins

The Minnesota Twins have a lot of great baseball players such as Justin Morneau, Joe Mauer and Johan Santana. They have a lot of guys that are in the middle or just above on the "being great" scale. And then, they have a lot of guys that wouldn't be on a roster most anywhere else, and should be let go in favor of the better younger guys.

The main players that I'm talking about are Luis Rodriguez, Juan Rincon and Ramon Ortiz. After that though there is, and was, Lew Ford, Jeff Cirillo and possibly Punto or Tyner.

The Twins made a few smart moves by sending down Ford, and letting Cirillo go off waivers. But, both of these guys are better than Rodriguez, so why wasn't he let go. On the other hand, we have multiple guys in the minors that could come in and give up two runs per appearance, so why are guys like Ortiz and Rincon still here?

Here is my plan to clean up the Twins roster, and help rid them of some washed up players, and in return get some future players a chance in the majors.

Luis Rodriguez:
First, I'd either send Rodriguez to the minors, and if he doesn't want to do that, then let him go or trade him if anybody wanted him. Rodriguez isn't absolutely horrible, but when he only plays one time a week at most, is it worth having him up here over a guy ready for a major league roster spot?

The Solution:
To take his spot, I'd either keep Tommy Watkins up here when Buscher returns, or I'd give Matt Tolbert a chance. Tolbert is ready to at least get a chance at this point, and taking Rodriguez's spot, he wouldn't have to do a whole lot to be a better player and option for the Twins.

Juan Rincon:
After making the Rodriguez move, I'd get rid of Juan Rincon right away. Rincon has been absolutely horrible, and can't be trusted in any type of tight situation or semi-close game. I was very mad when some teams were reportedly interested in him at the deadline and we didn't trade him. For anybody to want him, we were lucky, but not trading him was stupid. In addition to having better guys below, Rincon doesn't have much of a chance to be here next year.

The Solution:
Well, much like the Rodriguez situation, it wouldn't take much for the new player to be better. Rincon gives up abut a run each outing it seems, and I think we have guys that could do that. A few guys would be Julio DePaula, who we saw a little bit of, or just to keep Carmen Cali if the Twins decide to go with eleven pitchers again.

Ramon Ortiz:
I'm not going to completely fault the Twins for giving Ortiz a chance. Early on, they looked like geniuses taking a chance on him. But after April, it looked like a very dumb move to give this guy $3 million. Ortiz, much like Rincon, can't be trusted in any situation but a mop-up job, and hasn't shown any signs of improving. He will be gone next year, so it's time to move on right now, and let him go.

The Solution:
Again, it wouldn't take much to be better than a run each outing, so almost anybody might help. They could call up a guy like Jason Miller, but that would give them almost to many lefties. Other than Miller, and DePaula who I've mentioned, there really aren't a lot or relievers ready down below. Other options might be to keep Cali like the Rincon situation, or go with eleven pitchers and add a bat from below.

Punto and Tyner:
Neither of these guys should ever be used as anything other than spot starters, and if they are used in that role, they really aren't that bad of an option off the bench. Both have shown good signs, but neither can can put up good numbers on a consistent basis.

The Solution:
I'd keep both players for now, because as I mentioned they are decent off the bench. But, some options for replacements might the following. Denard Span, mainly because we need to get a look from him and he is an outfielder, Matt Tolbert, Darnell McDonald, Jose Morales or Garrett Jones.