Twins Headed in the Right Direction?
by, 04-30-2014 at 08:47 AM (449 Views)
Future Stars: Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton. Emerging Rookie: Josmil Pinto Revelation: Chris Colabello. Starter who Finally "gets it": Trevor Plouffe. Only player to establish himself in 2013: Brian Dozier. What do all of these position players have in common? They are all right handed hitters.
Since the emergence of MVPs Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau the Twins have definitely leaned left. Perhaps not in sheer numbers, but the most feared and respected hitters were lefties. The story is that the White Sox took Chris Sale early in part because they knew they would have to deal with the M & M Boys (don't know if that is completely true). So far this year, on the offensive side, the good stories have been about right handed hitters.
Is this a good thing? In part, I think it is. Target Field seems more suited for right handed power. The high wall in right has turned a lot of blasts into singles and doubles and perhaps the prevailing winds help when left field is the pull field. I also think that most good right handed hitters diminish their platoon splits. So far, Colabello and Pinto have hit better against righties than lefties (SSS) and Plouffe and Dozier have evened up their numbers after being much better vs. lefties last year. Also, Joe Mauer provides a conterbalance and he is signed for five more years. Promising hitter Oswaldo Arcia also hits left handed although he hasn't done much this year due to injury.
The irony of this is that the Twins have hit markedly poorer versus left handed pitchers so far this year. Part of that may be attributable to facing Mr. Sale and Mr. Price, who figure to give just about every hitter problems.
I can envision a lineup later in this decade with as many as seven right handed regulars. It would depend on some guys to develop and others to show this early season isn't a fluke. I never thought there would be a time that Mauer was on the team where the team would be so right handed.