He doesn't hit for power. He doesn't run well anymore. He doesn't draw walks. He is a defensive liability. These are all legitimate criticisms when it comes to Shannon Stewart, but you have to at least give him this much: the man can flat-out hit. In his return from the disabled list last night, Stewart was an offensive force, collecting four hits (all singles, of course) and walking in the game-tying run in the eighth inning. There were other great performances in the Twins' 10-7 victory, like seven total bases from Michael Cuddyer, three RBI for Jason Kubel, two more hits from Joe Mauer and 4.2 scoreless innings from the bullpen, but to me, the story of the night was the triumphant return of Stewart in the DH spot.
Is Stewart being payed too much for a guy who can hit a ton of singles but can't do much else? No question. But that's not to say he doesn't have value. He is a solid veteran presence in the lineup and he is certainly this team's best option at DH right now.
The Twins have won nine straight and today they send out Francisco Liriano, who has been nearly unbeatable as a starter. Things are looking pretty good for the Twinkies, even if the top spot in the division is still 10 games away after a Detroit loss on Sunday.