"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Monday, March 28, 2005

Restovich Redux

Well, well, well.

The Twins released Eric Munson on Saturday. Not just assigned to AAA, but released: poof!, out of the organization. Quite a turnaround.

Now, Munson's spring was terrible, but on paper he's shown enough promise in the past to at least be worth keeping in the organization. Makes you wonder what the Twins staff saw that we're not privy to, doesn't it? Left-hitting outfielder Michael Ryan, whose spring hasn't been anything to write home about either, was optioned to AAA Rochester at the same time.

This, of course, moves Michael Restovich one step closer to staying with the Twins. His big competition now? Switch-hitting corner infielder Terry Tiffee.

On the heels of Munson's abrupt departure, Restovich argued his own case (finally) with a grand slam in the first inning of Sunday's game against Baltimore's LHP Eric DuBose. He actually had two hits on the day, raising his spring training average to .261. I'd post his OBP, too, but the stupid spring training stats don't include walks. He's slugging a .457, though, which is high for his BA.

Terry Tiffee is still the frontrunner for the "left-handed bat off the bench" spot, mostly because he can hit lefthanded. But amid rumors of carrying a third catcher (LeCroy doesn't count), I began to wonder how many spots really are up for grabs. Assuming they carry eleven pitchers, they'll have 14 position players on the roster when they break camp.

1. C - Joe Mauer
2. C - Mike Redmond
3. DH/1B/C - Matthew LeCroy
4. 1B - Justin Morneau
5. 2B - Luis Rivas (may break camp as a backup)
6. SS - Jason Bartlett
7. 3B - Michael Cuddyer
8. LF - Shannon Stewart
9. CF - Torii Hunter
10. RF - Jacque Jones
11. OF/DH - Lew Ford
12. UT - Nick Punto (may break camp as starting 2B)
13. UT - Juan Castro

So yes, one spot remains, and it probably belongs to Tiffee. Which isn't to say we're out of options. We could release Castro, that's my favorite. We could trade LeCroy to a team that would actually use him. We could trade Rivas (would anyone take him?) and pray Punto stays healthy, knowing we have Augie Ojeda and Luis Rodriguez at AAA if needed.

All of the above are unlikely, though not impossible, and it still doesn't look very good for Resto.

0 rejoinders: