3 Lineup Changes the Minnesota Twins Should Implement

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3 Lineup Changes the Minnesota Twins Should Implement
Hannah Foslien/Getty Images
Mauer and Morneau have been separated in the lineup this season, which has come with mixed results for both players.

The Minnesota Twins have a sticky situation where they have a lot of players that can hit the ball for power, but few that can hit for average. On top of that, sluggers like Trevor Plouffe, Ryan Doumit and even Justin Morneau have gone through slumps this year.

The one player that does hit well for average, Joe Mauer, topped out at around .360 early in the 2013 and has recently dropped below .300.

In order to get the most out of its roster, Minnesota must make adjustments that will give guys days off and get other players at-bats.

The following are a few lineups manager Ron Gardenhire could use in the near future.

 

The Chris Parmelee at First Base Lineup

Plouffe and Parmelee are similar people on and off of the diamond.

I think Parmelee is Plouffe’s long lost brother. Not only are they both in their mid-20s, from California and begin their last name with the letter P, but both players also hit for power, not contact.

Plouffe is currently hitting .229/.330/.446 with four home runs and five extra base hits.

Parmelee is currently batting .209/.300/.337 with three home runs and two extra base hits.

The former may be playing a little better, but Plouffe is also two years older than Parmelee and has gone on a tear recently, batting .286/.444/.786 with two home runs in May.

On the other hand, former MVP Justin Morneau is batting .238/.250/.286 with no homers this month and is looking like a shell of himself.

Parmelee is currently playing in right field, but has played first base and could move there to give Morneau time off. It would also give Minnesota the option of putting Plouffe in the outfield and starting either Eduardo Escobar or Jamey Carroll at third.

This is how that lineup would look:

Brian Dozier, 2B

Joe Mauer, C

Josh Willingham, DH

Chris Parmelee, 1B

Trevor Plouffe, RF

Oswaldo Arcia, LF

Aaron Hicks, CF

Eduardo Escobar, 3B

Pedro Florimon, SS

 

The Ryan Doumit at Catcher Lineup

Doumit may be struggling at the plate, but he is still a quality backup catcher.

I intentionally left Doumit out of the first lineup because he is slumping.

This year, he's hitting below the Mendoza Line (.198/.270/.284) with zero power (no home runs, seven doubles). Last year, he hit .275/.320/.461 with 18 homers and 34 doubles in a career-high 134 games after coming over from Pittsburgh.

He is still a good defensive catcher, however, and as much as Mauer is willing to catch just about every game, he needs flexibility to play first base, DH or take a day off.

This also would allow Minnesota to go with two traditional table-setters at the top of the lineup and give Hicks the chance to move up in the order.

This is how that lineup would look:

Brian Dozier, 2B

Aaron Hicks, CF

Josh Willingham, LF

Justin Morneau, 1B

Chris Parmelee, RF

Trevor Plouffe, 3B

Ryan Doumit, C

Oswaldo Arcia, DH

Pedro Florimon, SS

 

The Murderer’s Row Lineup

Okay, it's not 100 percent American, not all the guys are from the U.S., but it's pretty beefy.

I was texting with my friend from St. Louis the other day and he was listing off the Cardinals lineup. I laughed when I saw it, responding that it was all beef and no speed.

Mike texted back, saying that it was 100 percent American (this is the kind of guy that wraps his hot dogs in bacon and tucks them between ground beef).

The Twins players prefer to call this lineup Murderer’s Row.  Or at least Brian Dozier does. When the Mississippi native says it, it sounds so awesome that I can’t possibly call it something different.

So, without further ado, here is the Murderer’s Row:

Brian Dozier, 2B

Joe Mauer, C

Josh Willingham, LF

Justin Morneau, 1B

Chris Parmelee, RF

Trevor Plouffe, 3B

Oswaldo Arica (or Ryan Doumit), DH

Aaron Hicks (or Wilkin Ramirez), CF

Eduardo Escobar, SS

 

Conclusion

By just looking at stats alone, Minnesota’s lineup doesn’t look that impressive. Hicks is still well below .200, Doumit and Morneau are slumping and Parmelee and Plouffe are not hitting for average.

In fact, the Twins are in the bottom third of the league in terms of runs scored.

Actually sit down and watch the games, however, and you’ll notice that Hicks is getting more selective at the plate, Plouffe is hitting to opposite field (and with men on base) and Dozier packs a little more punch than you’d expect.

In short, there are a lot of improving players on this team, which leaves the Twins with a lot of options on game day and gives baseball fans in Minnesota a reason to believe that this team is going to turn it around sooner that everyone expects.

 

Tom Schreier covers Minnesota sports for Bleacher Report and writes for TheFanManifesto.com. Visit his Kinja blog to see his previous work.

 

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