Saturday, June 24, 2006

Twins Win Again

In the second inning of last night's game, Phil Nevin hit a solo home run. That was pretty much the extent of the damage that would be done against Johan Santana, as the Twins cruised to a 7-2 victory and Santana picked up his eighth win of the year. The young hitters in the middle of the lineup were solid once again as Michael Cuddyer delivered a two-run double and Justin Morneau went 3-for-4, homering for the ninth time this month. Meanwhile, the weak link in the middle of the Twins' lineup continues to be Torii Hunter. Scroll down, if you will:



































PLAYEROPS
Jason Bartlett1.030
Joe Mauer.951
Justin Morneau.902
Michael Cuddyer.898
Jason Kubel.824
Torii Hunter.742
Nick Punto.715
Luis Castillo.684


An argument could easily be made that Torii Hunter is the worst-hitting position player for the Twins. The only regulars Hunter leads in OPS are Castillo and Punto. Both have higher on-base percentages than Torii but trail him in slugging percentage, which is what you would expect considering that Castillo and Punto are table-setters and Hunter hits in the middle of the lineup. Hunter is slugging a despicable .408 from the six-spot. I'll say it right now, despite my love for Torii... if the Twins can get anything of value in return for Hunter in a trade this season, it would be a blessing. He is a phenomenal defensive player, but it is becoming increasingly clear that he provides very little offensively except for a few hot streaks each season. Is that worth the money he's making? I really don't think so, but I'll leave it open for discussion.

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

It's true. But I don't like the idea any better of Lew Ford taking his place.

Nick N. said...

That's the problem. Ford clearly isn't the answer, and I'm not too big on Denard Span either. Still, Hunter is simply not worth the money he's making.

Dan said...

If the Twins can get a nice DH during the offseason, I wouldn't be upset if the Twins and Hunter re-structured a 3 or max 4 year deal, but he is at most worth 7 to 8 mil. a year, and he batted 6th or 7th. I don't know, Tori may be insulted with an offer like that if other teams come up with a 9 to 10 mil. multi-year deal. Even 7 to 8 may be a bit too high, but we have to be somewhat realistic.

For one, I agree, Ford is a 4th outfielder at best. I would rather have Span than Ford if it came down to it in the next couple of years.

Tori is bad at the plate right now, but he is due to go on a hot streak before long for a while, which may help if one or two of their young guys goes cold for awhile.

There is a big article on Hunter on ESPN.com, which continues to portray Hunter as a wunderkind, which hopefully plays to the Twins advantage if trading him though. I do agree with the options laid out in the article, either trade him now, or sign him cheaper for a few years until someone is indeed ready to take over. His 12 mil. option should not be an option, and they can't just let him walk to another team when free-agency starts, which is actually my biggest fear in this situation.

I think if TR gets creative they may can pull something off, like Crawford of the D-Rays. Of course the D-Rays don't want Hunter's salary, but if a third team enters the picture maybee Hunter goes to a contender, the D-Rays get what they want, and may be willing to part with someone like Crawford.

If the Phils continue to drop off Rowand may be an intriging idea as well. His grit would be appreciated in MN.

Above all, I would rather trade Hunter than just about any top level pitching prospects, which makes it difficult b/c that is what the Twins have and usually what other teams want. I am glad TR is stubborn to trade pitching prospects away. As we can clearly see, this is what helps teams win championships. With the potential future staff that we have and about 4 or 5 position players that hopefully we can lock up for a few years, I think the Twins can be competing on a yearly basis, with or without Hunter(as long as the trade is somewhat smart, and don't just let him walk with nothing in return)

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