Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Gomez to the minors?

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune's Joe Christensen blogs today suggesting the Twins putting Carlos Gomez in Class AAA to refine his skills. One thing I definitely agree with Christensen about is that Denard Span should stay with the big team when Michael Cuddyer comes back from the DL. Span deserves the chance to stay in the majors and prove himself. It's time for the Twins to see what they've got with Span. He needs to show the Twins if he is a big leaguer or a big disappointment -- not Gomez. Gomez will be a major league player for several years and (given his age) has time to work on hitting in the minors.

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).


Jimmy Olichwier said...

Why bother having spring training? I would be shocked if they sent Gomez down. He won the job in the spring and has settled into the lineup nicely. Two weeks in the minors isn't going to make him better at getting down a sac bunt. That's something he should have learned like 10 years ago. The Twins are 1.5 games out of first, why start tinkering with things now. I could see if they were struggling out of the gate (ahem, Detroit) then fine, send Gomez down. But he's been able to hit and he can run like mad. I don't think he's the problem for lack of run production. Span won't be an upgrade over Gomez. Let Span platoon in the outfield if they want to keep him up, or just send him back. Span or Buscher.
Here's an idea, tell Mauer to leave his skirt at home and start driving the ball. He doesn't have to hit homers, just hit the ball in the gap. Anything in the gap and Gomez will score either from first and obviously second. I'm tired of this three singles to get one run offense. It's not 1910.

Jimmy Olichwier said...

Span's going down. It was announced today. Maybe they can send Fatcisco with him and save a plane trip.