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MODEST PROPOSAL
March 26, 2012
The Twins' plan is failing at Target Field. In 2011, Minnesota was last in the AL in pitcher strikeouts and last at turning balls in play into outs. You can be bad at one of those things and contend. If you're bad at both, you end up second in the league in runs allowed despite playing in a pitchers' park. And yet the Twins made their defense worse by signing free agents Josh Willingham and Jamey Carroll to play rightfield and shortstop, respectively. Willingham is a bat-first player who has been, at best, adequate in the outfield. Carroll is 38, has never started 60 games in a season at short and is below average there over his career. They will make a defense playing behind another low-strikeout staff as last year even worse. The team has to change its focus to defense, both error prevention and, especially in Target's cavernous outfield, range. That means using Willingham at DH and sandwiching Joe Benson and Ben Revere around Denard Span in center. It means moving Carroll to third base ahead of Danny Valencia and giving Tsuyoshi Nishioka a crack at shortstop. The Twins cannot get away with even an average defense behind their staff of soft tossers.
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March 26, 2012

Modest Proposal

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The Twins' plan is failing at Target Field. In 2011, Minnesota was last in the AL in pitcher strikeouts and last at turning balls in play into outs. You can be bad at one of those things and contend. If you're bad at both, you end up second in the league in runs allowed despite playing in a pitchers' park. And yet the Twins made their defense worse by signing free agents Josh Willingham and Jamey Carroll to play rightfield and shortstop, respectively. Willingham is a bat-first player who has been, at best, adequate in the outfield. Carroll is 38, has never started 60 games in a season at short and is below average there over his career. They will make a defense playing behind another low-strikeout staff as last year even worse. The team has to change its focus to defense, both error prevention and, especially in Target's cavernous outfield, range. That means using Willingham at DH and sandwiching Joe Benson and Ben Revere around Denard Span in center. It means moving Carroll to third base ahead of Danny Valencia and giving Tsuyoshi Nishioka a crack at shortstop. The Twins cannot get away with even an average defense behind their staff of soft tossers.

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