Tuesday, January 26, 2010
If Thome plays, Kubel has to move
Jim Thome to the Twins? For reasons mentioned after the quote, I didn't see this coming:
Thome, who played three-plus seasons with the White Sox before he was traded to the Dodgers on Aug. 31, was interested in returning to Chicago.
General manager Ken Williams gave manager Ozzie Guillen the final call on the move, and Guillen decided he couldn't give Thome enough at-bats to justify bringing him back.
"I play him once a week or twice a week. I don't think it was fair for him," Guillen said Monday.
Maybe I'm missing something, but are the Twins going to play Thome more than once or twice a week? I don't see how they can play him even that much. He's capable of playing two positions: DH and first base (sort of). Well, the Twins already have perfectly wonderful left-handed hitters -- Jason Kubel and Justin Morneau -- in those spots already.
Or does this mean the Twins are ready to 1) give up on Delmon Young, and 2) take the hit on Kubel's defense in left field?
Actually, might not be a hit at all. For a young player who runs decently enough, Young is almost startlingly inept in left field. Kubel's probably even worse, but his bat more than makes up for that.
If Thome's healthy, the Twins are going to score some runs, particularly if they find a right-handed platoon partner for him. And if the Twins are giving up on Young, they can find a righty-hitting outfielder with defensive skills who can complement Kubel, too.
The Twins probably already figured as favorites to repeat in the Central. But the additions of J.J. Hardy and now Thome make them even better, and another two or three minor moves could push them past 90 wins.
Update: Via Joe Christensen, Bill Smith says Thome's a bench player and Delmon Young's still the regular left fielder. Sorry, Twins fans.