Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Twins Need Middle Infielders

The Twins started the season with Jamey Carroll as their starting shortstop. Then supposedly dissatisfied with the play of Alexi Casilla at second base, the Twins called up shortstop Brian Dozier and shifted Carroll to second. Dozier was hailed a top prospect who was the “shortstop of the future”.

The Dozier & Carroll combo last till Trevor Plouffe, who had displaced Danny Valencia at third base, was injured and Carroll was moved to third with Casilla reinstated at second. This lasted till Tsuyoshi Nishioka was recalled and inserted into the lineup at second. Nishioka was a bust last year at second, and this year proved to be even worse. As it stands right now, Nishioka’s career Win Above Replacement (WAR) is -2.5, the worst of any player in Twins history. In other words, Nishioka’s is the worst player in Twins history.

Nishioka was promptly demoted, and Casilla reinstalled at second till Plouffe returned from his injury. Supposedly Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was set to go with Carroll at second, Dozier at short, and Plouffe at third. The Twins front office had other plans, and demoted Dozier even though there are only 2 ½ weeks left in the minor league season, and Dozier would almost certainly be right back with the Twins in September.

Now Pedro Florimon – a career .249 hitter in the minor leagues - has been summoned to be the new “shortstop of the future”.

Personally, I would have left Dozier the minors and brought him about now when he could play with less pressure –with the season lost - then he experienced earlier this year. Carroll should have been left at short and Casilla at second till then. Nishioka has no business even being with the Twins. While Florimon might be a great fielder he can’t hit which as been the argument used against Casilla for years.

Let’s face facts, the Twins have no shortstop at the major or minor league level worthy of starting for them in the foreseeable future. The only second basemen worth anything in the system is super prospect Eddie Rosario who is playing well, but is in low A ball, and is at least 2 years away.

The Twins have no middle infielders worthy of a major league roster spot outside of Carroll who is best as a backup. While the Twins search for starting pitching this off-season, they also need to search for a new starting shortstop and second basemen.