FanPost

Infield Options, Or Lack Thereof

So while looking more and more at our infield there's definite instability at all positions that are not manned by a Canadian.  So I thought I'd take a look at what could possibly be done to help this situation. 

 

Third Base

So I was probably one of the most excited people to hear we had signed Mike Lamb, I knew he was not going to be a great defender but I figured he was a pretty sure bet to get 20 bombs and have an overall OPS of over .800 (he had an OPS over .800 3 of the past 4 years in Houston).   I had been telling friends for weeks before we signed him that he could really give our offense a needed jolt from the 3B position.  Now, I'm about 2 to 3 weeks from giving up on him.  No matter how you cut it, there's really been no encouraging signs of improvement from Lamb.  Even though his numbers have slowly been climbing since April 22nd he's managed only a .632 OPS and that's largely due to a couple of 3 hit games in the end of April.  He's only had .527 OPS from April 27th to present.  If he doesn't make some major changes within the next few weeks the Twins may have to cut their losses and realize they have a very expensive left handed bench bat /backup corner infielder.

Solution(s)?

My first instinct would be to try Harris out over there since it seems Gardy has given up on him at 2nd.  Other than a 2 week slump the last week of April/First week of May he's hit fairly well and if you didn't know he is actually on a 5 game hitting streak but is sitting on the bench while Lamb continues to falter.  I would just assume that if he can play as much as he has at 2B/SS albeit deficiently he should be able to handle 3B at least as well as Lamb while giving us a bit of an offensive upgrade there. 

Then there's the option of Buscher or Macri.  I would have no problem with the Twins bringing one of them up as long as that one is Buscher.  The guy has only about 250 AB's at AAA but has damn near a .900 OPS over parts of two seasons.  I have trouble believing he'd be a downgrade defensively from Lamb at 3B and right now you have to believe he's got a good shot at being an upgrade offensively.

The last option would be some sort of trade, however I have no clue as to who might be available and if the Twins feel it's worth it to get a better 3B when they went into the year probably not planning on contending for much.  I will definitely be curious to see who mlbtraderumors puts up as he's profiling available players at each position but only has Catchers up so far.

 

Shortstop

Everett, well what can I say, we all expected a lot defensively and knew he would be an easy out on offense but this easy?  The fact that he's hitting much worse than his already poor career numbers and has a noodle arm at SS doesn't bode well for his longevity here with the Twins.  I was really hoping he'd come back and be much better after his stint on the DL but alas, he needs to be replaced sooner than later if things don't change real quick.

options?

Sadly, I believe LNP might be our starting SS within the next week or so.  It pains me to say this but he may be our best option.  I wouldn't mind giving Casilla some time there and see if he can somehow make it work.  Watching him make the throw to 1st is a joyful experience rivaled only by Young's Ichiro like throws to the infield.  So we have two mediocre at best in house options and I don't see much else. 

 

Second Base

Here's the real tough one because with Tolbert out and Harris basically losing this position over the past few weeks I don't know what to think about it.  They've been starting Casilla here the last few days but who knows how long that will continue.

Options?

Basically I see the options as being about the same as they are for SS only the possibility that maybe Everett could be moved to 2B?  He's had decent range (right?)  I don't get into defensive metrics, not because I don't believe in them but I haven't had time to learn much about their meanings and what's good or bad with them.  This would lessen the worry of his weak arm having to throw as far but his horrible offense would still be present.  I don't know of any decent options (howie clark? GAG) at AAA right now and I don't see the Twins making a trade for anyone since I'm betting they hope that Plouffe/Casilla can fill the MI roles in the near future.

 

Overall I'm all for working from within as best we can.  The biggest move I'd like to see is Harris at 3B at the very least in a platoon situation.  For his career he's heavily weighted as hitting better against Lefties even if this year's small sample size would indicate otherwise.  Platoon him with Buscher or possibly Lamb and see what happens.  Let Casilla stay up for a bit and see if he can turn a corner and take over a MI position.  Then we can get guys like Plouffe and Hughes up to AAA and Valencia up to AA to see what they show us at another level.

-halfchest

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