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State of Play: Monday, November 14

Unless Bill Smith gets fired again today, and I'm not necessarily saying I disagree with that option, this Monday isn't likely to be as exciting as last Monday. Nevertheless, let's take a look at the current Twins stories floating around, along with some extremely grumpy comments:

* Terry Ryan says that Trevor Plouffe will play in the outfield from now on. I like this move, as it'll allow Plouffe to only be a worthless hitter, rather than a worthless hitter AND a terrible fielder. I suppose it's worth noting that it wasn't too long ago that the Twins gave up on Michael Cuddyer as an infielder and moved him to the outfield, and that worked out okay on average, but it's also worth remembering that Cuddyer had hit successfully in the minor leagues and with some success in the major leagues before making the switch. Apart from about two weeks at Triple-A last year, Plouffe can't say either of those things.

* The team's giving Tsuyoshi Nishioka a free pass on being terrible last year. I think they're hoping to rewind this situation, like an old videotape. And then they're hoping that they can keep rewinding, and the old tape will show Nishioka erasing his signature on the contract, going back to Japan, and letting all that money jump right back into the Twins' pockets.

* Jamey Carroll is on his way. Jamey Carroll played a game for the Montreal Expos after he turned 30. Jamey Carroll is an old, old man. Here is also where I point out that Carroll might have less power than Nick Punto, is the same height and twenty pounds lighter, and is also three and a half years older and much worse on defense. I'm just saying that if the Twins had signed Punto for two years and $7 million, someone would have tried to bomb Target Field, and so maybe we shouldn't get so excited about putting Methuselah at shortstop quite yet.

* The Twins may be interested in a couple of Japanese starting pitchers. Via Aaron Gleeman, Nippon Sports says that the Twins have expressed interest in Tsuyoshi Wada and Hisashi Iwakuma. As a Twins fan, I would ask that the Twins instead give me one-tenth of whatever they're planning on spending either pitcher. That way I get rich and the Twins don't get stuck with another Japanese player that seems surprised somehow that American baseball isn't quite as easy as it is in Japan.

* Terry Ryan is re-evaluating the Twins' medical staff. Somewhere, Rick McWane is trying to figure out where he can dump a year's supply of leeches, an iron lung, and four medical dictionaries that are hollowed out so that bottles of scotch fit between the covers. McWane's plans for this week include hanging around the training room and waiting for people to walk by so that he can try to work questions like, "Say, do you know how that machine over there works?" into casual conversation.

Tracking This Week

  1. Will Michael Cuddyer and the Phillies finally get together? They've been making googly eyes at each other for like a week now, and the Twins seem to be planning ahead to replace Cuddyer with Plouffe.
  2. Will the Twins sign a backup catcher, backup corner infielder, left fielder, right fielder, starting pitcher, or anybody to pitch out of the bullpen? (You know, when we write it out like that, it's kind of depressing.)
  3. Will Ron Gardenhire make Jamey Caroll wear Nick Punto's old number and answer to "Nicky"?