Monday, May 26, 2008

Something Good Out of Injuries for the Twins?

Could something good come out of the Twins recent rash of injuries?

Brendan Harris proved incapable of handling second base. Manager Ron Gardenhire wanted to move Harris to third, but then Harris’ replacement Matt Tolbert broke his hand needlessly sliding into FIRST base.

Harris seemed stuck at second then starting shortstop Adam Everett developed a bad shoulder and had to be placed on the disabled list. With Everett’s backup Nick Punto also on the disabled list, the Twins called up Alexi Casilla to play short. Casilla though can also play second. So Gardenhire moved Harris to short and Casilla to second.

Casilla started hitting and now seems destined to stay. Harris proved more comfortable at short and he is playing better.

Batting behind lead off hitter Carlos Gomez, Casilla could give the Twins two base stealing threats at the top of the lineup. For a team having trouble hitting home runs, have a good running game is essential.

I looked for examples of center fielders and second baseman that batted one – two and were base-stealing threat. What I found offers hope for Twins fans.

In 1980 Montreal had Ron Leflore and Rodney Scott batting one – two. Leflore stole a league leading 97 bases while Scott stole 63. Montreal went 90-72 to finish second in their division.

In 1978 Mickey Rivers and Willie Randolph hit one –two. Rivers stole 25 bases while Randolph stole 36. The Yankees went 100-63 and won the World Series.

Finally the 1992 Toronto batted Devon White and Roberto Alomar one – two. White stole 37 bases while Alomar stole 49. Toronto won 96 games and the World Series.

Now I am not saying Gomez and Casilla are going to lead us to the World Series. However, I think Gomez is a potential super-star, and Casilla seems to be ready to start living to his billing as a good middle infielder. On a team looking for hope, that is is good news, and news they never would have gotten had there not been injuries.