Monday, June 20, 2005

Needed Recovery

Upon reading the paper this morning, I discovered that there is a big figure amongst the Twins that agrees with me about their recent troubles: Ron Gardenhire. Now, that's not to say that he thinks we should jettison Terry Mulholland, but he does sees the major problems the Twins offense has been facing. On Friday, after the Twins pulled out a extra-innings victory over the Padres, Gardenhire held a team meeting in which he pleaded with his hitters to be more patient at the plate and to try and use all the fields; in other words, to hit to their abilities. Apparently, they heard none of it, as Brian Lawrence and finesse lefty Darrell May mowed down the Twins batters on consecutive nights this weekend.

Basically, such defeats proved Gardenhire's, and in a way, my own points about the Twins offensive problems. They cannot handle good pitches that change the eye-level i.e. change-ups, sinkers, etc. Why is this? Because, most of our hitters are free-swingers (Hunter, even Morneau) who try and pull all the pitches they say. Now, for a guy like Hunter, he can actually be somewhat successful doing this, but that is not a method to be passed along to our other young hitters.

The bigger problem is that the Twins have no easy way out. They cannot make majors trades since they have no real financial flexibility the way the Yankees or Red Sox do. So, they cannot just send down the players have problems, because they have no one to replace them that would do much better. Basically, they are stuck with what they have. So, I think they have one larger option: A new hitting coach. The basic idea, as silly as it sounds, is that sometimes hitters or players respond differently when a new guy says the same thing the other guy did before. It happens all the time in baseball. Look at alot of the success stories. Its all in approach, since its different for all players. With all the problems, I think that is the Twins best option at this point. Sorry Scotty Ulger, but you gotta go.