The new general manager needs to treat the Minnesota Twins as an American League team.
Newsflash, the Twins are still in the American League. At least it’s news to the front office as they continue to build the Twins as a National League team.
Management continues to use the designated hitter as a “half off day” for players. It’s time to use the DH properly. It is designed for a great hitter who is insufficient or struggles in the field.
Had Byung Ho Park hit consistently overall, he would be a great DH.
Park isn’t the first player to fail as the Twins DH.
In 2008, there was Craig Monroe. He was capable of playing the outfield but was aging and certainly at the end of his career. In 117 at-bats as a DH, Monroe hit four home runs, drove in 19 RBI and slashed a lowly .214/.292/.376.
It gets worse.
In 2006, Rondell White received the most at-bats as a DH (191). He slashed a miserable .199/.220/.283 while hitting two home runs and driving in 18 RBI.
One would think at age 34, White shouldn’t reprise his role next season.
Wrong. Instead of releasing him from the two-year $5 million contract he signed before 2006, he returned as the DH and hit just as bad in 2007.
Other players have underachieved as the DH. Players such as Jose Offerman, Lew Ford, Bobby Kielty, Matt LeCroy in 2004 (worst year statistically as a DH), Jason Tyner, and Mike Redmond. They all had no business serving as the DH.
A longtime Twins killer, Thome quickly became a fan-favorite for his monster home runs but will forever be remembered for his walk-off home run against the White Sox. It was a move that worked out well for the Twins at the time.
Doumit had his moments with the Twins in 2012, his best year with the team.
Doumit and Thome clearly fit the mold of a typical DH.
If Park adjusts to major league pitching, he could be the future DH. However, Miguel Sano currently suits the role the best. He has struggled to stay healthy in the outfield, and has had multiple fielding issues at third base.
It’ll be up to the new general manager to fill the DH role more effectively. The National League style of Twins baseball needs to end.
Next: Have Patience with the Prospects