Matt Tolbert's Job Security

There's no doubt that Matt Tolbert has a few things running in his favor. Since the departure of Nick Punto he's become the blogosphere's posterboy for grit, hustle and hard work while being defensively versatile and offering very little in the way of offensive upside. We also know how Gardy loves his versatility, and over the last few years we've definitely seen Tolbert earn his stripes with the Twins. His spot on the roster also allows the Twins to start both Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Alexi Casilla at their positions without needing one to backup the other.

In some sense, what Tolbert offers the Twins is a kind of stability, or a level of roster certainty. Just as when Punto was on the roster over the last seven seasons, everyone knows exactly how Tolbert will be used. Because it's not just Nishioka and Casilla he'll be spelling, it's Danny Valencia as well. As the season wears on, if everyone is healthy and maintains their roles it's not unrealistic to think that Tolbert could be starting twice a week as off days cycle through the infield.

That's the real value in Tolbert, because not only is he able to play that role...but nobody else is. Nobody else on the roster has his combination of defensive versatility and Major League experience. And when it comes to a backup infielder, those things are important. No, Tolbert's bat is nothing to write home about, but he does tick a lot of boxes that you'd like to check off for a backup infielder.

It's going to be quite easy to write off Tolbert this season, whether it's because he'll be seen as Punto II or because we might prefer to see a player like Luke Hughes who could provide a little more offense off the bench. But for now his job, and his spot on the trip north in a couple of weeks, is secure.

SB Nation Featured Video
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Twinkie Town

You must be a member of Twinkie Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Twinkie Town. You should read them.

Join Twinkie Town

You must be a member of Twinkie Town to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Twinkie Town. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9351_tracker