Delmon Young showed up at camp 30 pounds lighter than last season. The weight loss was completely his own decision. Every baseball season seems to feature some player showing up to camp in better shape. Usually, somebody writes an article about how great the subsequent season will be for the player. How often does the improved physical condition actually pay dividends? Remember when Boof Bonser lost weight? I do not doubt that the lighter frame could help Young- especially chasing down balls in the outfield. I'm mostly just curious what happens to these players.
The most encouraging sign for Young is not his weight, anyway. Manager Ron Gardenhire actually seems to like the outfielder this year. This season, Young enters camp expected to play everyday in left-field. As you can infer from my complaints about Nick Punto, I expect all players to perform. But by arriving at camp with a well-defined role, Young can focus his energy on excelling within that role. Remember, this is a job for the players. From the comments by Young, Gardy, and others, it sounds like expectations were not communicated clearly. Certainly, immaturity contributed to Young pressuring himself to perform when he was in the lineup. But how much effort did Gardy make to explain to Young what his role was with the team? We'll never know because we were not in the clubhouse. I'm just happy that it seems like it's solved for this year- that is until I start reading between the lines of comments by Gardenhire and Twins General Manager regarding the "versatility" of Alexi Casilla. For now, I'll do my best to ignore it.