Thursday, May 21, 2009

Twins destroy White Sox 20-1

I think the box score speaks for itself today. Joe Mauer has a ridiculous 1.319 OPS. Not to mention 8 home runs in 19 games. If he keeps this pace up, he will be the AL MVP. Also, Michael Cuddaver seems to have woken up and he is on track to have a season similar to his remarkable 2006 year.

The batting order seems like a silly thing to talk about while the pitching on this team has been so horrendous. But we'll do so anyways. The biggest problem with Gardy's batting order has been the #2 spot. Probably 90% or more of the at-bats there this season have been filled by the likes of Alexi Casilla and Matt Tolbert, who were both hitting under the Mendoza line. This is obviously not what you want from your #2 hitter. You want someone who gets on base at a 35 or 40 percent clip, so that the heart of your order has runs to drive in. A little speed/good baserunning skills is a good thing to have as well. This is probably the perfect spot to slot in Joe Mauer. (Although now that he is hammering homers every other day, he is a great #3 hitter as well.) Gardenhire might have figured that out today, and he plugged Mauer into the #2 spot, and just like magic the Twins go off for 20 runs. Now of course nobody scores 20 runs a game, but I think it would help the offense run a little better. Here is my preferred lineup to maximize run scoring potential:

CF Span
C Mauer
1B Morneau
DH Kubel
RF Cuddyer
3B Crede
LF Young
2B Tolbert
SS Harris

I chose Harris over Tolbert in the 9th spot because they both see roughly the same amount of at-bats, but I think it's preferrable to have your worst hitter in the 8th spot rather than the 9th. The reason is that the 9th guy isn't that far away from your power hitters, so why would you want an automatic out 2 batters before Mauer, Morneau, and Kubel come up?

Another decent reason to shift up Mauer, Morneau, and Kubel up one spot is that they will receive a slight increase of at-bats, being a little closer to the top of the order.

Anyways, batting orders are largely overrated, but there are a few things you can easily avoid that can plague your lineup. Perhaps Gardenhire has figured out that one of them is don't place an automatic out in the lineup right before your best hitters come to bat.

No comments: