Could Jason Kubel and Denard Span be on their way out?
Ben Revere's recent success could spell the end of Jason Kubel and Denard Span's careers in Minnesota.
Kubel was all but set to make the All-Star Game as the Twins' lone representative this season. As the season approached the end of May, Kubel was leading the team with .310 batting average and 30 RBI. He was among the team leaders with five home runs and 14 doubles.
As the Twins were floundering, Kubel was having quietly the best season in his seven with Minnesota. Because baseball requires each team to have a representative in the midsummer classic, it was evident at the time that Kubel was the only player worthy of consideration.
Unsigned for next season, this was just what Kubel needed. Then came the play in the outfield in Detroit on May 30 that has not only derailed Kubel's season, but perhaps his career with the Twins.
Batting third in the lineup, Kubel would get another two hits in three at-bats before leaving the game with a sprain in his left foot. The Twins placed him on the 15-day disabled list, and he has not played since.
The Twins called up Revere from Triple-A Rochester to replace Kubel on the active roster.
When Span was placed on the seven-day disabled list on June 9, after suffering an concussion in a game against at Kansas City on June 3, Revere took over as the starting center fielder and lead-off hitter and has excelled at the top of the order, hitting .279 with 11 stolen bases, the second most on the Twins.
Like Kubel, Span was having a great year. Batting .294 on the season when he was placed on the DL, Span had improved his average 30 points over his disappointing 2010 season when be batted a career-low .264.
With Kubel's departure from the lineup, Micheal Cuddyer has dramatically improved his game, and currently leads the team with 13 home runs. He has raised his batting average to a season-high .300 and is second on the team with 40 RBI. This week he was named as the Twins lone representative to the All-Star Game.
These turn of events have put both players in a precarious position. When they are ready to return, they could find themselves penciled in the lineup wearing a different uniform.
With the Twins surging, manager Ron Gardenhire may be loath to upset the formula that has brought the Twins within seven games of the AL Central leading Cleveland Indians.
The only thing that may save their Minnesota careers is that fact that since neither has been playing, their value in a trade may not provide enough in return for the Minnesota Twins.