Minnesota Twins Baseball Might Not Be Speed and Defense Anymore
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The Minnesota Twins have built a brand on "Twins baseball." Known by most as small-ball, the Twins have prided themselves on good defense, being fast and knowing when to simply move a runner up 90 feet.
This season, however, the Twins appear poised to try something a little different.
Ben Revere, who spent much of last season playing incredible defense in center field after Denard Span went down with a concussion, is apparently going to be the team's fourth outfielder. Revere was considered by most to be a lock to be starting somewhere in the Twins outfield this season, but that is now very much in question.
Justin Morneau, who missed 93 games last season and is currently recovering from offseason wrist surgery, appears as though he might not be ready to take to his position on the field yet. If that is the case, he has just become the Twins new designated hitter.
Ryan Doumit, who was signed in the offseason, was slated to be the team's designated hitter and back-up catcher to Joe Mauer. With Morneau apparently needing to fill the designated hitter spot, Doumit will most likely find himself playing right field this season.
That leaves first base open for Chris Parmelee, who showed some great ability with the bat last season in limited time with the Twins. His stat line reads .355/.443/.592 in 76 at-bats. He also hit four home runs during his 21 game stint with the Twins. While it is certainly a small sample size, the Twins are very optimistic about his ability to get it done over a full season, which is why Parmelee appears primed to skip Triple-A ball entirely and break camp with the Twins this year.
One big positive to this alternative is that the Twins will have more players who can be shuffled around. If Joe Mauer needs a day off from behind the plate, it is as simple as Parmelee sliding to right field and Doumit moving to catcher so Mauer can play first base. What this scenario really does it make it possible for the Twins to play their best offensive lineup every day, even if the defense suffers a little bit.
By taking Revere out of the starting lineup, the Twins lose two key components to their brand of baseball, defense and speed. The best defense the Twins could have most certainly would have Revere and Span both patrolling the outfield, but the Twins seem to want to try to get more power in the lineup.
In the speed category, it also takes the teams leading base stealer out of the lineup. Revere had 34 stolen bases last season. Those 34 steals were more than double what Alexi Casilla had last season, and Casilla was second on the team in steals.
The Minnesota Twins seem content on trying to make the long ball work for them this year, even though their ballpark ranked 20th in home runs last season, according to ESPN's Park Factors.
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