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The Twins lineup of the moment

Nov 18, 2011, 4:28 PM EDT

Joe Mauer high five AP

The Twins appear to be far from locks to re-sign either Michael Cuddyer or Jason Kubel, but they have added infielder Jamey Carroll and catcher-first baseman Ryan Doumit since free agency began. So, here’s a guess at their lineup as it stands right now:

CF Denard Span
SS Jamey Carroll
C Joe Mauer
1B Justin Morneau
DH Ryan Doumit
3B Danny Valencia
RF Trevor Plouffe
2B Alexi Casilla
LF Ben Revere

Obviously, that’s not going to cut it. The Twins’ four best hitters — Mauer, Morneau, Span and Doumit — all have big durability questions, and even if one could pencil everyone in that lineup for 500 at-bats, Morneau might be the only one to get to 20 homers.

The Twins are likely to pick up one more bat this winter, but in truth, they probably need two. Re-signing Cuddyer is their preference. A pure DH would also make sense, though they can wait there. If Vladimir Guerrero falls through the cracks and ends up signing for $3 million-$4 million, he’d be a nice fit. Doumit is listed as the DH here, but it’s his flexibility as an alternative at catcher and first base┬áthat drew the Twins to him.

  1. visnovsky - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:37 PM

    I would say Casilla is much more likely to be penciled in as the starting 2B than sub-replacement level Nishioka.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:44 PM

      The Minnesota mafia is in agreement with you, so I switched it over.

      • dluxxx - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:55 PM

        As part of said “Minnesota Mafia” I would agree that Casilla would be the 2B. However, if Carrol’s D has slipped, they may switch places. I see Nishioka playing in AAA next year unless he shows major improvement in ST next year.

      • JB (the original) - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:02 PM

        +1 (not quite sure what the Polish contingent is known as, the Pierogi Pack? (I’ve had a 40 game plan along 1B for the last 10 years))

    • Matthew Pouliot - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:48 PM

      Phil Rogers wrote last week that Casilla would likely be non-tendered… if only I had realized at the time that it was Rogers, it would have gone in one ear and out the other.

    • trevorb06 - Nov 18, 2011 at 5:23 PM

      I don’t see Carroll being a full-time SS. I’m already picturing Gardy doing his muscal IF chairs switching between Nishi, Carroll, Casilla and a PTBNL for SS and 2b.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see Nishi hack it a little bit better this season. Last season was his 1st time in the majors in America AND he missed a lot of time due to a very serious injury. I don’t see him batting .300 or anything but I see him being a pretty decent SS/2b option, and frankly better D than Carroll.

      If the Twin’s are looking for a full-time DH, they need to keep Kubel. Kubel>Cuddyer. Cuddy plays terrible defense in 4 positions, Kubel plays mediocre D in the OF and we could really use that bat as well.

      If everything cuts right for the Twin’s (Span back full health, we get a full season from Mauer, Morneau back full health) I can see them fighting for the division win despite that sad excuse for a pitching rotation. Sadly, I don’t see them getting the best of the Tigers, but this is the AL Central so really anything can happen as I’ve learned.

  2. sknut - Nov 18, 2011 at 4:51 PM

    Not sure if they will re-sign Cuddy but that would be nice, but if they don’t a guy like Willingham would fit but I think he will be in pretty high demand as well. Just don’t go crazy and allow for some flexibility, that is what I like about their first two moves.

  3. rgledz - Nov 18, 2011 at 7:01 PM

    They’re not gonna DH their back up catcher. That would make no sense. If, or more likely when Mauer gets hurt in a game they lose the DH spot. Not too mention he’s probably gonna have to play like 50 plus games behind the plate. no way they carry 3 catchers either.

    • Matthew Pouliot - Nov 18, 2011 at 7:30 PM

      Ron Washington, is that you?

      And, no, I’m not truly penciling in Doumit as the Twins’ regular DH. But the Twins certainly figure to use both he and Mauer their on occasion.

  4. rgledz - Nov 18, 2011 at 10:25 PM

    Agreed, they will split a ton of time and I like the fact that we won’t be giving up 4 at bats each game with Butera behind the plate. He’s great defensively, but you gotta at least bat your weight in the biggs. It’s been so frustrating to see the short sighted nature of Bill Smith play out, especially at the catcher position. Ramos for Capps was an epic blunder. I like your take on Vlad. that would be a nice right handed bat in the lineup, especially if Cuddy is a gonner. Somebody has to hit homers! So many holes, so little time…….

  5. greatminnesotasportsmind - Nov 19, 2011 at 1:32 AM

    Let the run for one hun begin!

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