- There are too many pitchers on the roster, leaving some serious deficiencies in the lineup. Historically, teams had 10 pitchers and 15 batters on their rosters. During the nineties, especially after expansion. The standard became 11 and 14. Now several teams are starting the season with 12 pitchers. This tactic, even though would lead to a fresher pitching staff, does not allow the manager to make appropriate substitutions in situational pinch hitting and running as well as in a day-to-day injury, unless the 4-man bench is set up correctly.
- The Twins have issues with their 4-man bench because Redmond is not very versatile; whomever from Monroe or Kubel does not start at DH can only play corner outfield positions successfully; Punto and Tolbert have pretty much the same skill set (infielders) and they are practically a duplication. A versatile outfielder (such as Pridie) could have been a better choice than one of the Punto/Tolbert duo
- Tolbert could be a potential pinch runner in late innings as could be Punto, but when Monroe is starting, there are no power righty bats of the bench.
- Another issue: Gomez is injury prone. He showed that yesterday. It that game, Gomez had a leg cramp and had to leave the game after the forth inning. With Monroe starting at DH, Gardernhire substituted Punto as the CF replacement, a totally inadequate substitution. A better course of action (albeit not ideal) would have been to move Young to CF and insert Kubel as the LF. This problem would be an issue if Gomez is day-to-day and out for a couple of days. This is why Pridie would have been a better choice... The only other position without good backup plan is 1B (the best case scenario if Morneau gets a minor injury would be to put Cuddyer on 1B with either Kubel or Monroe taking the RF position and again have no OF on the bench...
- The pitching staff itself is too righthanded with potentially (if Liriano is not ready) only 1 lefthander (Reyes) on the staff. This is not an issue against primarily righthanded lineups, like Detroit, but it can hurt in the long run. Neshek has a good record against lefties but he is the set up man. Perkins or Keisler should have probably taken Bass' spot (even though the later is out of options.)
- LH relievers are a rare and expensive fruit but the Twins should probably package a few people for a trade. There is a surplus of righthanders and it maybe time to see what a package such as Punto+Bass+Rincon can bring. Would it be enough for a situational lefty? Possible. Additionally, it would solve the bench Punto/Tolbert duplication issue. In such a scenario, Pridie would take Punto's spot, Humber Bass' and the new lefty Rincon's. I think that the Atlanta Braves might be an ideal trade partner, resulting to someone like Royce Ring or even Will Ohman coming to the Twins (with or without the inclusion of Bass in that trade...)
just some food for thought...