Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Minnesota Twins Season Recap and State of the Organization: Middle Infield

This is the third in a series of Twins blog posts.
See: Catchers
See: First Base

You can sum up 2011 with the following: J.J. Hardy hit 30 homers for the Baltimore Orioles.  Never mind that he couldn't hit at all in Target Field, the guy was still a very good defensive shortstop.  The Twins gave him away in order to get a couple of relievers including Jim "Moon Shot" Hoey and his sparkling 1.9 whip. 

Hoey, No!
The majority of the year the Twins went with Alexi Casilla and Tsuyoshi Nishioka.  Casilla at least was a decent player considering the awfulness that was the 2011 middle infielder.  Nishioka followed up his near MVP year in Japan with an awful first year as a major leaguer.  The Nish was not unleashed and may be looking at performing hari kari by bat in the off-season.

No Way Nish's Wrists are Strong Enough for Hari Kari by Bat

If the Twins can produce anything, it's a series of mediocre utility players.  Denny Hocking, Nick Punto, Al Newman; the list goes on and on.  This year everyone tried out for the role including Luke Hughes, Trevor Plouffe, Brian Dinkelman and Matt Tolbert.  Hughes and Plouffe can't field a lick, but have some pop.  Dinkelman is raw, can play second base poorly and outfield less poorly and is probably a slang term for a bathroom act. Tolbert is what he is and that's not much.  Butera was totally jealous of Tolbert's .198 batting average though.

In 2012 we're likely in for more Casilla; perhaps back at shortstop.  Nishioka should start in AAA, but it is unlikely the Twins will go that route because they gave him a decent sized contract.  If they did, you could see Plouffe and Hughes battle it out for the second base job, with the other going to the utility.  I know, pretty gross. It's no surprise that the Twins used their #1 pick in this year's draft to select Levi Michael, a 20 year old shortstop from North Carolina.  The switch hitter apparently has a little power, but needs to work on his defense.  He's at least a couple of years away.  Free agent middle infielders are pretty risky and there are really no sure things.  This is an area where I expect the Twins to not spend any additional money.  They may go for a spring invitation type of player, like say thirty-seven year old Jamey Carroll.  In other words, we're screwed.

Save us, Levi

See: Third Base


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