Minnesota Twins Notes: Outfield Strength Galore
My original gut feelings abut the Twins outfield so far has been proven wrong.
When Torii Hunter decided not to accept the Twins' offer, I was saddened that the All-Star Gold-Glove center fielder chose money over loyalty.
But then I realized that it wasn't as much the money, as the length of the contract.
I didn't feel so bad, and fully respected his decision.
If he was going to stay, he wanted to not have to worry about going anywhere for yearsto come, but the Twins didn't offer enough job security.
This got me to thinking during the offseason that the Twins, even without Hunter, still had a strong bevy of outfield talent—even before the Young and Gomez trades.
But my train of though was probably a lot different than most peoples.
First, I thought that they could move the very strong arm of Michael Cuddyer, who had the most outfield assists in the majors last season, to center, and have him flanked by Jason Kubel in left, and whoever was coming in, in right.
But this thought quickly died out when I spent more time contemplating the idea.
A center fielder needs more speed than he does a strong arm, considering all the field he must cover.
The acquisition of Delmon Young was an exciting one, given his amazing rookie season, and his run at possibly winning Rookie of the Year.
I was impressed with his speed, strong arm, and amazing accuracy—not to mention 15 outfield assists last season. Looks like we have another Cuddyer on our hands.
There were a couple other guys that could have filled in as well, Denard Span and Craig Monroe, but the arrival of Gomez dropped their playing times like a brick.
I was POed that the Twins received the short end of the stick when they traded Johan Santana for three pitching prospects and Carlos Gomez. I guess I let the situation cloud my decision about these players.
I never gave Gomez a chance and was surprised when he broke with the club out of spring training. But I'll tell you what, seeing three very strong arms, all of which have good speed (all three of them stole a base in the opener), really changed my opinion about these guys.
They have a guy that was almost Rookie of the Year, a guy that throws out the most people in the league, and a guy that blew his predecessors performance out of the water on Opening Day.
I see good things in the clubs' future. If runners were afraid to run against the Twins outfield before, I expect teams to be terrified now.
Look for teams to be more conservative on the base paths on balls hit right at the outfielders and look for outfield assists from all directions this season.
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