Gomez is a major disruption on the basepaths. If he can get on base, he can alter games single-handedly. If he can get a bunt down, he can change defensive coverages. The ifs there are pretty important.
The other night Gomez struggled to even foul off a sacrifice bunt attempt when needed. That's a fundamental. In this sense, then, I agree with Christensen. Send Gomez down for a few weeks to work on a few things.
Conversely, can the Twins keep hovering near .500 without Gomez? His nine stolen bases lead the American League. His defense is reminiscent of Torii Hunter thus far. He looks like he has a lot of fun and seems well-liked by his teammates. Gomez is, if nothing, not crushing under the psychological pressure of filling the HUGE shoes of the Hunter/Puckett eras. Gomez reminds me of a young, pre-steriod Mike Cameron (who had to step in for Seattle after Ken Griffey Jr. was traded).
What to do? Here's a way to wrap our brains around Christensen's query:
- If Gomez goes to the minors, who will bat leadoff?
- Why not drop Gomez in the order and put that person at leadoff and see what happens first?
- Span isn't exactly Bob Allison out there in the field, so how much does defense matter?
- Gomez is hitting .230.
- Cuddyer comes back Friday
- Brian Buscher has four at bats
- Forget Frank Thomas -- the Twins (surprise) don't want him (idiots! Why would we even think the Twins would consider? Will we ever learn that all we get is washed up Ruben Sierras and Sydney Ponsons?)
- Jason Kubel is hitting .292 with 3 HR and 13 RBI
I'll go out on a limb and propose Buscher goes back to the minors, the Twins keep both Span and Gomez and let them duke it out for playing time, and pray the Twins were bluffing on Frank Thomas (they're not).