Answers to the Minnesota Twins Catcher Problems May be in the Outfield

Brandon EricksonCorrespondent IApril 7, 2009

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 19: Outfielder Delmon Young #21 of the Minnesota Twins watches his team from the dugout against the Tampa Bay Rays on September 19, 2008 at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg, Florida. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)

After facing a disappointing 6-1 loss on opening loss, the Twins now stare at potentially a bigger problem with Mike Redmond.

The backup catcher is filling in for the injured 2006, 2008 Batting Champ, Joe Mauer, who is now recovering from his offseason kidney surgery in Florida.

On Monday night, the catcher not only caught a bat to the neck, but that very next inning pulled his right groin stretching a single into a double. The thought of Redmond going down comes at a very bad time, for obvious reasons.

The Twins have quite a few players facing injury problems.

Relievers Pat Neshak and Boof Bonser are out for the entire 2009 season with season-ending surgeries before the season even started. Joe Mauer is on the 15-day DL recovering from his offseason kidney surgery,and "ace" starting pitcher Scott Baker also is experiencing stiffness in his shoulder and is on the 15-day DL, also in Florida recovering.

On top of that, 2006 MVP Justin Morneau is currently dealing with back stiffness of his own, but is playing through it. Joe Crede is also playing through some tenderness.

Mauer is close to running for the first time since last fall, a significant step forward in his recovery from inflammation of his SI joint at the base of his spine. Running is the only activity that causes the pain to return, but Mauer said the soreness has nearly disappeared. He remains in Florida to continue his rehab, but said his return to the Twins is “weeks, not months” away.

With that said, the Twins have another option that they may have not considered.

The Minnesota Twins have a rare situation in the outfield. With starting caliber players in the outfield in Delmon Young, Denard Span, Carlos Gomez and Michael Cuddyer vying for three spots.

The battle is a healthy fight for the spots, but an unfortunate waste of talent as you can only play three of the four in a game with Jason Kubel already well established as the team's designated hitter.

The thought may seem simple and rather safer in comparison to bringing up guys from Triple-A Rochester to backup (heaven forbid) the catcher who now may have inherited the catching spot, Jose Morales.

With Redmond possibly seeing some time off, has anyone considered taking one of the outfielders or backup infielders to learn to catch?

Brian Buscher had an amazing spring in Fort Myers and it would be a horrid waste if his hot streak only ended because they can't play him anymore in their starting lineup. He could be seriously considered to play behind the plate.

The musical outfield has one guy without a spot, if he were willing to become a backup to catch, they'd be almost guaranteed a spot in the lineup till Redmond or Mauer returns to action.

This would also create an optimum line up as far as offensive production over any minor league player or Jose Morales.

Delmon Young would be ideal for his mobility compared to other outfielders and power he presents at the plate. Otherwise, Michael Cuddyer would be a decent fit with his years of experience and the fact he's only going to be slowing down at this point.

The outfielders would be ideal to create more of a rhythm in the outfield rather than showing up not sure if you're playing or not. The ol' killing two birds with one stone.

That's not to say that there is significant risk for any player to be playing behind the plate, no less one that has little to no experience.