At this past Saturday’s game
versus the Astros in the Metrodome, Gardy used back-up catcher Jose
Morales in a tough, late-inning pitch-hitting situation in place of the
free-swinging Carlos Gomez. Morales proceeded to foul off pitch after
pitch until he eventually laced a double to left center and put the
tying run on second base. His solid at-bat gave the Twins a chance to
steal the game back from Houston.
It’s obvious that Gardy has
a lot of a faith in the bat of Morales, but after watching the
converted second-baseman behind the plate earlier this season, we all
saw what he can’t do and that’s throw out base runners. With 55
at-bats, this kid is hitting .364 and shows no sign that we’re
witnessing a fluke.
Nick Punto is hitting a mere .221 with an
on-base percentage of .312. Neither Alexi Casilla nor Matt Tolbert has
seen their average rise above the Mendoza line for any significant
length of time. So why can’t the Twins un-convert Morales and plug that
sexy bat back into second base? Has he forgotten how to play it or was
he never very good? (Really, if you know why they moved him, let me know. I can’t find that explanation anywhere.) Is he too slow? I don’t buy it as an excuse. The speed of Punto,
Casilla, and Tolbert doesn’t help the Twins when they use it mostly to
hustle from the batters box back to the dugout. Besides, there have been second basemen who did just fine without amazing wheels. Jeff Kent, anyone?
Brewers are a team that can put up some big, nasty numbers in that runs
column and it’s time that the Twins make the most out of the talented
bats in their lineup. Let’s see if Morales could be the answer at one
of our revolving door positions and get the team primed for that big
Detroit series next week.