The Twins have a dilemma in the near future. Their dilemma? A logjam of outfielders, and a rather weak left infield. What exactly should they do? Michael Cuddyer will soon be off the disabled list, which will bring problems to the Twins with him.
The Minnesota Twins sit one game above the Chicago White Sox as I write this article, though they are about to have Francisco Rodriguez slam the door on them for a tough loss. But- that's beside the point.
The Twins have a great young outfield, anchored by Delmon Young and Denard Span at the corners, and Carlos Gomez playing in center field. Their young kids have done so well this year most people may have forgotten about the lovable fan favorite named Cuddy.
Now, as the trade deadline approached, the Twins were supposedly targeting Adrian Beltre of the Seattle Mariners, to add some power to not only the lineup but the left side of the infield.
Nothing against Brian Buscher, but he doesn't put up the numbers you want out of a corner infielder. Now, when Michael Cuddyer, you are left with these options:
A) Send down Denard Span, let Cuddyer return to right field.
B) Send down Carlos Gomez, send Span to center field, and send Cuddyer to right field.
C) Send down one of Randy Ruiz, Carlos Gomez or Denard Span and let Cuddyer either play designated hitter or right field.
However, since the Twins need good numbers at a power starved third base, I say go with none of the above options. Instead, I propose that the Twins keep the outfield the way it is. Denard Span has done amazingly, and there is no reason to stop a good thing.
Carlos Gomez has had his share of struggles, but it is imperative to get some big league experience under his belt to make him a better player. And what to do with Michael Cuddyer? Some of you by now may know where I'm going with this, but I think the Twins should move him back to his natural position- third base. Here are my reasons why:
1) Cuddyer is a great option to play third base for the Twins. He provides very good hitting numbers. He's no A-Rod, but he would provide some power in the middle of the order with no cost to the Twins.
No money spent on a big free agent (I crack myself up), and no prospects to land an under-achieving slugger. An in-house option is perfect for this frugal team, and hey, they've gotta plug him into the lineup somehow.
2) Defense. Cuddyer has showcased an absolute cannon of an arm in right field for the Twins. Imagine his arm at third base. Cuddyer provides offense at third base, but doesn't sacrifice defense, which is greatly emphasized by Ron Gardenhire.
3) What about Brian Buscher? Hey, nothing against the kid- I do like him. But they can always rotate around, occasionally giving someone a day of, dh'ing someone, etc. The way the Twins use different lineups and pinch hit, nobody will be left out.
4) He is a fan favorite, and his position has been taken by a new one. Denard Span merchandise has been flying off the shelves these past weeks, and the Twins fanbase would ache to see him be sent down.
Plugging in Cuddyer at third would keep lineup spots for the young and talented Carlos Gomez and Denard Span; without leaving out Michael Cuddyer. Cuddy's buddies don't want to see Gomez, Span or Cuddyer left out of the lineup, so this is the perfect solution.
These are my best thoughts and reasons on why Michael Cuddyer should play third base for the Twins. He is a perfect fit in my mind. They say great minds think alike, so (at the risk of sounding conceited) I hope Bill Smith agrees with my points.