Astros Recruited to Fill in Lineup

Given that I haven’t made my presence known around here in about a month, I think I’ve missed some opportunities to comment on the Twins maneuvers this offseason. After the signing of Craig Monroe, I would have composed the Twins lineup thusly:

2b- A. Casilla
C- J. Mauer
RF- M. Cuddyer
1b- J. Morneau
LF- J. Kubel
DH- C. Monroe
CF- J. Tyner
SS- J. Bartlett
3b- N. Punto

First up, the trade with the Rays of Tampa which sent Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett south for Delmon Young, Brendan Harris, and Jason Pridie. This one has already been discussed all over the place, so I’ll just say that Jason Bartlett has been one of my favorite Twins over the last few years, and I’m sorry to see him go. I hope he tears up the AL East for quite a while as the Rays shortstop. I’ll remain slightly optimistic about Mr. Young, but he strikes out an awful lot. I’ll take strikeouts if there’s production in other at-bats, so those at-bats will be the key in evaluating this trade for me. A couple days later the Twins declined to offer Jason Tyner a contract, effectively ending his tour with the Twins. At this point there were a few holes in the lineup, and one could almost feel Twins fans getting a little nervous about what the team was going to look like next year.

2b- A. Casilla (at second because there’s no one else)
CF- D. Young (in center because there’s no one else)
C- J. Mauer
RF- M. Cuddyer
1b- J. Morneau
DH- J. Kubel
LF- C. Monroe (in left because there’s no one else)
SS- B. Harris(at short because there’s no one else)
3b- N. Punto (at third because there’s no one else)

After quite a few departures, new GM Bill Smith started adding some pieces over the past week. And most of those pieces came from Houston. First up was Adam Everett, who was let go after the Astros acquired Miguel Tejada. Everett is the definition of the all-glove, no-hit shortstop. Other people have made the comparison to try to determine whether the runs saved with his glove make up for the lack of production at the plate. While it seems like an argument can be made that it all evens out, it seems like with the Twins offense already struggling an awful lot to put runs on the board consistently, another light bat at the bottom of the order may not be what they need. Filling out the infield for now, Mike Lamb was acquired on Friday to man the third base position. I think he’ll be a serviceable option at third base at least. With these two, the Twins are very close to putting together the 2008 lineup. The only real hole left at this point is center field. Let’s take a look:

2b- N. Punto/B. Harris/A. Casilla (we’ll see who wins the job)
CF- D. Young (should be in left, but (all together now) there’s no one else)
C- J. Mauer
RF- M. Cuddyer
1b- J. Morneau
3b- M. Lamb
DH- J. Kubel
LF- C. Monroe (in left because there’s no one else)
SS- A. Everett

This lineup might not mash with the tops in the league but there’s not too many long strings of light hitting players that have dominated the lineup at times in the past couple years. Hopefully they will add a CF/leadoff hitter type (Coco Crisp, anyone?) and we could be set up with at least an average lineup for ’08.


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