There hasn't been considerable buzz surrounding who should DH for the Twins this year, and it's probably for good reason. The DH role isn't exactly all that important for non-contending teams, and the Twins haven't really filled it with any sort of big bopper since Jim Thome departed.
But, with the trade of Ryan Doumit and the addition of Jason Kubel in the offseason, there should be at least a decent amount of competition for the lion's share of plate appearances out of the DH role this year. So let's put it to the test, who do you think should DH this year for the Twins?
Pros: He's on a cheap deal, and is just one year removed from a really good offensive season with the Diamondbacks (.253/.327/.506). There's be no temptation to play him in the outfield regularly, either, which hurts his overall value. Kubel is strictly an upside play.
Cons: Age (32 in May) means he's not likely a part of the next run in Minnesota. Power won't likely play up at Target Field due to stadium configuration. Still needs to be added to the 40-man roster. Played very poorly last year, and there are whispers he's an 'old' 31 (slow bat, bat wheels). Even as an upside play, what's the long-term future here? To trade him at the trade deadline? May be taking plate appearances from younger guys.
Verdict: He's probably the in-house favorite, but there are hurdles to clear.
Pros: It'd help keep Willingham healthy, and keep him out of the outfield. Should help him hit better at the plate, which may improve his trade value. Would open up left field for a younger, more able fielder.
Cons: Any boost in trade value offensively is probably offset by him only DH-ing. Likely not interested in being a primary DH, for better or worse.
Verdict: Club is unlikely to go this route to avoid ruffling feathers of a respected veteran. Wouldn't be a bad move, however.
Pros: Just another way to make sure he's in the lineup every day. Minimizes negative value as a fielder.
Cons: Club shouldn't let the sun go down on Arcia's possible future as a defender, especially at such a young age (23 in May). Might end up here in the future if Buxton, Hicks, and another outfielder (Rosario, Kepler) develop to big league caliber.
Verdict: Very unlikely other than spot duties.
Pros: At 26, probably still too young to give up on. This gets him in the lineup on a regular basis. Pinch us if you've heard this one, but also minimizes defensive woes.
Cons: Doesn't really have the upside to DH regularly. Is a tweener in pretty much every sense of the word. Doesn't do well versus lefties.
Verdict: Worth a try if it keeps him in the organization, but don't count on seeing this too much barring an injury.
Pros: Club can get one last extended look at him this way. Has the raw power to thrive if he can make enough contact.
Cons: Didn't show enough consistent contact to post a passable line.
Verdict: If he makes the big league roster, could share the spot with Kubel, allowing Gardenhire to roll with the hot hand.
Pros: Gets his bat in the lineup regularly. Keeps him in the big leagues and is still an option to catch at times.
Cons: Club may worry his defense will regress without full-time action back there.
Verdict: If he makes the team and isn't the starting catcher, there's a good chance he'll get regular time at DH.
Pros: Has the power and at times the approach to succeed in a full-time role.
Cons: Platoon splits suggest he's more of a lefty masher, in the poor-man's Michael Cuddyer mold.
Verdict: With the Sano injury, it looks as though Plouffe will skate through 2014 with minimal competition at the hot corner. He also has the versatility to play the outfield, which may make him more useful into the future for the club. Don't expect him to DH much.
So TwinkieTown faithful, what way do you lean?