Yesterday, Kevin Lewis of a new Twins blog called Twin Nation asked me if I would do an interview for his site. I was happy to. You can see the full interview here, but here is one question that I think will be a big one for the Twins and their fans this offseason. There were several more (and I get wordy!)
KL: I think one of the biggest questions I have for the ball club heading into the 2009 season is what are we going to do about our outfield situation. Now that Michael Cuddyer is healthy again, we will have five outfielders who are capable of playing everyday. I would imagine Carlos Gomez has centerfield nailed down. But then that leaves the corners up for grabs. In left field, we have Jason Kubel and Delmon Young. Then in right field, we have Michael Cuddyer and Denard Span. If you were Ron Gardenhire, what would your approach be for the outfield situation?
SS: First, if I’m Bill Smith, I would keep them all just in case of injury or regression. For Gardy, I do think that he will have to find a way to keep them all active and fresh and put them into situations that they can succeed. Ideally, you work out a situation with the following playing time breakdown. All five will/can play eight out of ten games.
LF – Delmon Young – 7 times per 10 games
CF – Carlos Gomez – 8 times per 10 games
RF – Michael Cuddyer – 7 times per 10 game
DH – Jason Kubel – 8 times per 10 games
That leaves Denard Span. I think he is the outfielder most capable of playing all three outfield positions well. I would have him play 3 out of 10 games in LF, 2 out of 10 games in CF and 3 games out of 10 in RF. That makes him the team’s lead-off hitter at least eight out of ten games. I think that Delmon Young and Michael Cuddyer can DH at least once every 10 games. Obviously Jason Kubel can play the corners once in awhile or in case of injury.
I would run with that through about 90-100 games. They will work out the playing time down the final month or two and hopefully all will remain healthy and fresh.
I’m heading to the Gophers football game against Indiana this morning. Should be fun. Maybe the Gophers can even win a Big 10 game! But please discuss. Can it work with each playing 8 out of 10 games? I think depth is important, so is keeping people fresh. There will be injuries and you can’t assume everyone has a good year. I’m not saying this is the right answer or the best answer, but I do think it could work and would be good.
Thanks again to Kevin Lewis, and please check out Twin Nation.