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May 4, 2011

Transaction Analysis Blog

The Twins Disabled List Continues to Grow

by R.J. Anderson

MINNESOTA TWINS
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Minnesota Twins
Place OF Delmon Young on the 15-day disabled list. [4/27]
Recall OF Rene Tosoni from Triple-A Rochester. [4/27]
Place DH Jim Thome on the 15-day disabled list. [5/3]
Recall SS Trevor Plouffe from Triple-A Rochester. [5/3]
Place OF Jason Repko on the 15-day disabled list. [5/4]
Recall OF Ben Revere from Triple-A Rochester. [5/4]

If nothing else, the Twins kept their travel secretary busy over the past week. Thome (strained oblique) and Young (abdominal soreness) join Joe Mauer and Tsuyoshi Nishioka on the disabled list, leaving the Twins in the unfortunate position of having to plug four leaks at once. Things were already bad when Mauer went down, as the team was 4-8, but the Twins have now lost six of their last seven, with five of those defeats by margins of five runs or greater, pushing their record to 10-18 on the season.  

With all the new arrivals, Ron Gardenhire has a choice or two to make when filling out his lineup. In recent days, Gardy has rotated Luke Hughes, Alexi Casilla, and Matt Tolbert in the middle infield, with Tosoni operating left, and Cuddyer flipping and flopping between right field, first base, and occasionally second base. Presumably, Revere is going to play—likely in right field—otherwise the Twins would be better served leaving the 23-year-old in Triple-A, where he has struggled to a line of .293/.330/.315.

Unlike Revere, Plouffe spent the first month hitting at Triple-A (.282/.344/.590) beyond his established means (career .255/.306/.430 in more than 1,280 Triple-A plate appearances). Plouffe figures to fit right in, as his offensive game does not revolve around walks. The aforementioned Hughes has the highest on-base percentage amongst the Twins middle infielders at .319; meanwhile doghouse resident Casilla is at .257, and Tolbert—who has not drawn a walk in 49 plate appearances—is at .167.  The Twins are already getting zero production out of their catcher tandem (Steve Holm has a 343 OPS and Drew Butera has a 291 OPS), so you have to figure they may lean towards offense and give Cuddyer as much time at second base as their pitching staff can handle.

The Twins are 10 games behind Cleveland and six games removed from the Wild Card chase. It’s all about treading water until Minnesota can get a few of their guys healthy, but it might be too late by then. 

R.J. Anderson is an author of Baseball Prospectus. 
Click here to see R.J.'s other articles. You can contact R.J. by clicking here

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