Sunday, May 3, 2009

Mauer's Return

Joe Mauer returned to the lineup on Friday scheduled to bat third. Many had thought he would bat second, and Morneau and Kubel would remain in their respective positions. I respect Gardy patient confidence in Casilla. The manager's tendency to resist knee-jerk decisions likely pays dividends. But Mauer should be batting 2nd with Morneau and Kubel following immediately. Presently, there is no player who has any business hitting between Span and Mauer. You can't possibly want the team's worst hitter, Casilla, to be getting the second most at-bats. If Harris is at second base instead, he fits nicely into the 6th or 7th spot. He's not going to get on-base enough to justify putting him ahead of Mauer, Morneau, and Kubel, but he has enough power that he can be that extra threat after the middle of the order. Punto is doing fine batting 9th, so just leave him alone. I suspect Gardy sees things similarly, but wants to give Casilla another week or so. I doubt we'll be seeing anybody from Rochester; Matt Tolbert's .225 batting average leads all infielders for the Red Wings.

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