Thursday, July 15, 2010

Second Half Solution: Move Mauer Down

There was so much going right for the Twins at the beginning of the 2010 season. They had a magnificent new ball park, a payroll pushing toward $100 million, and a line-up of potential All-Stars. So what happened? What went wrong to make a first place team become a middle of the pack team in the American League?

The second half of the season is fast approaching and there have been many issues from the first half of the season that other Twins bloggers have looked at. Everyone is trying to figure out what the problem has been for the Twins over the last month and a half.

Aaron Gleeman has looked at the Twins collapse as being related not only to the starting pitching of the Twins (Anatomy of a collapse Part 1: Pitching) but also to their lack of hitting and lack of clutch hitting (Anatomy of a collapse Part 2: Hitting). Others, such as Fanatic Jack, have been calling for a managerial change (Fire Gardenhire Now!!) to spark a team that has a lot of good players that don't seem to be playing up to the potential that they have.

The more that I have thought about it over this All-Star Break the more I have decided that there needs to be some kind of change to spark another second half comeback by the Minnesota Twins. I feel that one solution to the problem could be adjusting the line-up. I feel that the one move that needs to be made to wake up the entire line-up would be to move Joe Mauer down in the batting order.

I believe this would open a few players eyes on the team. Hopefully making them perform at a higher level. The truth is Mauer is not performing like a number three hitter on a team that is contending for a division title. He is batting below .300, his power numbers have decreased, and he seems to have some nagging injuries.

Look at the following numbers of the other teams number three hitters on the contending teams in the AL Central:

Magglio Ordonez
BA: 0.313
HR: 11
RBI: 56
OBP: 0.382
SLG: 0.485

Alex Rios
BA: 0.305
HR: 15
RBI: 49
OBP: 0.361
SLG: 0.518

Joe Mauer
BA: 0.293
HR: 4
RBI: 35
OBP: 0.368
SLG: 0.424

Delmon Young should be moved into the number three spot in the batting order until Mauer shows that he deserves to be there again. As the numbers show below, Young would match-up very comparably with the other number three hitters.

Delmon Young
BA: 0.305
HR: 10
RBI: 58
OBP: 0.340
SLG: 0.502

There have been a lot of injuries and line-up changes throughout the season. A few things about my line-up listed below. I hate Cuddyer at 3rd. He can't hit when he plays 3rd base because he has to focus on his fielding so much. I also think that Danny Valencia should get to play more often. That is why I have him in both line-ups. These are just rough estimates of who I would have in (obviously there would be people moved around for pitching match-ups, injuries, etc.). The new Twins line-up would look something like this:

Right Handed Pitcher
1. Denard Span CF
2. Orlando Hudson 2B
3. Delmon Young RF
4. Justin Morneau 1B
5. Jim Thome DH
6. Joe Mauer C
7. Michael Cuddyer LF
8. Danny Valencia 3B
9. JJ Hardy SS

Left Handed Pitcher
1. Denard Span CF
2. Orlando Hudson
3. Delmon Young RF
4. Justin Morneau 1B
5. Joe Mauer C
6. Michael Cuddyer LF
7. Jason Kubel DH
8. Danny Valencia 3B
9. JJ Hardy SS

Would this solution solve all of the Twins problems? No. There are too many other flaws in the pitching staff, the other hitters, etc. This is only one piece of the puzzle that might help push the Twins toward a second half run. When I get to Target Field on Thursday night I hope that the line-up looks different. It's time for a change and this might just be the Twins' second half solution.


NoDak Twins Fan said...

Well Mauer proved me wrong last night. But Delmon had a big night too... We will see what happens... GO TWINS

NoDak Twins Fan said...

Well played Mauer... well played. Delmon has still been hitting well and hitting well in the clutch