FanPost

DH Dilemma

It's becoming fairly obvious that Jason Kubel won't be a Twin next year unless something changes dramatically in the next few days. Personally, I'm not going to be really upset about this, but Kubel was an above average LH bat that could be plugged in almost every day (especially against a righty) in the DH spot in the lineup. When he wasn't there, Thome was waiting. Now, with neither of these two out of the picture, the Twins aren't left with a whole lot to choose from for a Designated Hitter.

Ryan Doumit is the one player that the Twins find the most consistency in as a DH, assuming Mauer and Morneau stay healthy. If Doumit hits like he has in the past, the Twins will need to find a way to keep him in the lineup on a day-to-to basis. Theoretically, when he's catching, Mauer would be able to DH a good portion of the time. Or if he's plugged in as the first baseman or right fielder, that leaves Morneau or Willingham with a chance to DH. If you were to ask me who the opening day DH will be, I'd have to put my money on Doumit as long as Mauer and Morneau are ready to rock and roll. Of course, this also depends on if the Twins view Revere as an everyday outfielder to start the season. Revere will obviously never DH. If he's in the lineup, he's playin' defense. Period. That makes an outfield with Revere, Span, and Willingham, making Doumit the odd man out and, more than likely, the opening day DH.

Now, let's be a little more realistic and assume Mauer or Morneau will miss significant time at some point (hopefully not simultanueously) and Doumit will be forced to play 1B or C. Now who DH's? In my mind, it's gotta be Trevor Plouffe. He's the exact opposite of Revere. Anytime you can get his bat in the lineup and keep his glove out of the field, it's a good thing. I also have to believe he will start the year with the team as the guy who can play SS, RF, 1B, or LF but yet, can't really play any of those positions well. His bat has more upside than Tosoni's and, in my humble opinion, Luke Hughes's. He also offers the ability to play the outfield. Something Hughes hasn't really done. So basically, I see Plouffe as option 1A for DH if Doumit is forced into playing the field on a daily basis.

That leaves two more internal options. The wild cards. Chris Parmelee and his smokin' hot wife and Joe Benson and his mullet. Both are very talented hitters but are still very raw with next to no major league experience. Parmelee was very impressive last year when he got his "cup of tea" but there's very little chance he can carry over production anywhere close to that for an entire season. If he shows enough to the coaches this spring, though, he might get his chance. He also might get to play 1B everyday with Morneau's status still up in the air. Benson is a guy that might have a little more upside than Parmelee, but he didn't show it last year. He was regarded as a 5 tool player but he did little with the bat, and a lot of times, you don't see "5 tool" guys DHing. There's very little chance he breaks camp with the big-league team and mostly just needs a few more AB's at the AAA level. Something he never got last year. That leaves Parmelee as the #2 internal option.

The other option would be to sign a free agent. In my opinion, the best option out there right now would be Jonny Gomes. He was 1.5 Wins Above Replacement last year with the Nationals. The only year Kubel posted a better mark was 2009 when he was 2.7 WAR. Last year, his WAR was 1.1, ableit he was plagued with injuries. Gomes posted a line of only .209/.325/.389 but he did hit 14 bombs in only 311 AB's. Those numbers were also below his career mark of .242/.329/.451. The SLG% is right there with Kubel's career mark of .459. There are also other options like Luke Scott, Magglio Ordonez, or Cody Ross, but if the Twins want a full-time DH, i have to believe Gomes is the best value on the free agent market.

After all of that, I see the Twins internal DH options for next year as Doumit (part-time), Plouffe, or, with a strong spring and healthy Morneau, Chris Parmelee. If they're going to go out and get a farly low-cost player on the free agent market, I have to belive Jonny Gomes would be the best option.

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