Delmon Young is having one of the worst seasons in Twins history. What can the Twins do about it?
Delmon Young is hitting .257/.289/.293/.581 on the season. He has struck out 47 times against 5 walks in 145 plate appearances this year. He has already grounded into 7 double plays in 40 games. That compares to his league-leading 23 GDPs in 162 games in 2007.
Defensively, he's the worst left fielder in the league, with a -25.7 UZR/150. And he's not getting any better. Recent quotes from the manager indicate that he'd rather look at film than work with the hitting coach. Every baseball evaluator who sees him has said the same thing: He takes all his power away with his flat-footed appraoch and his plate discipline is going in the wrong direction.Today he struck out swinging twice on a combined seven pitches and grounded the first pitch for a double play in his other at bat. That is the very definition of futility. Anthony Swarzak had a better approach at the plate today, and he hasn't hit since high school five years ago.
If this continues for a full season, it will go down as the worst full season by a regular Twin in team history. With all the Twins have invested in him, they can't just let him go. And he's out of options, so they can't easily send him down. They could possibly try to put him on the DL with some sort of psychological disorder based ion the grief of his mother's rather sudden passing. But with each passing day, the legitimacy of that kind of move goes down. And he has zero trade value. So what can the Twins do?
For the present, Delmon can't even ride the pine because of Denard Span's and Michael Cuddyer's injuries. Even if they put both those players on the DL and called up, say, Jason Pridie, Delmon would likely get a lot of chances to strike out and hit into double plays while letting outs fall in the field.
At some point, the Twins will have to do something. They can't let him have the worst season in Twins history by a position player. They have too much invested in him. If they try to DFA him now, and he's claimed, they are basically saying they traded their best pitching prospect since Johan Santana for nothing.
But he's not making any adjustments. Clearly his problems are not just physical. Is there any chance they can put him on the DL and give him a rehab assignement in AAA so he can get his swing and his confidence back?