24. Minnesota Twins – The big question in Minnesota is if Ron Gardenhire will keep his job. It’s unlikely the Twins will show much improvement for another couple of years.
Really, though, whatever quibbles I have with this lineup construction are very, very minor. It’s at least close to optimal, and that is certainly a good thing for future run production.
Simply put, Harrell doesn’t strike out enough opponents while walking too many. He appeared in eight games-three starts-with the 2010 White Sox and hardly looked impressive in those 24 innings, walking 17 and striking out 15. Like Humber, Harrell has been mediocre in triple-A, posting FIPs of 4.34 and 4.46 in 2009 and 2010 with Charlotte. Harrell doesn’t have much-if any-edge over Humber, and that’s not saying a whole lot.
In the ninth, closer Greg Holland loaded the bases with no outs, but after Paul Konerko grounded into a double-play, the Royals still led 1-0. Despite dodging a huge bullet, Holland blew his second save of the season, after an infield RBI single by Alexei Ramirez tied the game at 1-1.
After Brett Gardner was called out on strikes to start the inning, The Yankees rattled off five straight hits, including a double by Robinson Cano and RBI singles by Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson that tied the game at four. Two batters later, Nunez cleared the bases with a shot down the left field line, bringing Granderson and Alex Rodriguez home and giving the Yankees a 6-4 victory.
The Tribe, which last won fewer than 70 games in back-to-back seasons in 1927-28, got single runs in the fifth and sixth to cut the White Sox edge to 5-3. In the fifth,Carlin hit his secondhome run and in the sixth, Crowe drove in Travis Hafner, who singled and moved to second on a wild pitch.
The sale jerseys can survive with a platoon of Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise in center (with Anderson getting more playing time thanks to gold glove-caliber defense), but the lack of a “traditional” leadoff hitter will force Ozzie Guillen to get creative. In the end, I’d expect Chris Getz to get the majority of at-bats from the No. 1 spot in the order this year, but he may not slide in there until late April or early May, whenever Guillen realizes that he’s a better long-term option than Wise or Anderson.
He made his Major League debut in 2002 with the Rangers, going 1-3 in 15 games at the age of 22. He also played with Texas in 2003 and 2004 but missed the 2005 season with an injury.