Wetmore: 5 thoughts on Twins from Jason Bartlett to Chris Colabello
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The Twins beat the Indians in a long game Sunday. During the course of the afternoon, I jotted down a few thoughts on the team.
1. Ricky Nolasco turned in his second crummy start for the Twins. Keep in mind, there is a lot of data and a long track record to suggest he will be competent and two starts this season that say otherwise.
2. Count me among the many surprised by the strong start of Chris Colabello.
To assume the Twins have found their cleanup hitter would be premature. It will take a month for me to wonder if tweaks he made to his stance have led to this level of production.
Leading the American League in RBIs in the first week could very well be a statistical fluctuation, based partly on luck. It's too short of a data set to believe this is Colabello's true talent level. Furthermore, RBIs are not the best predictive tool.
3. The Twins basically are wasting a roster spot with "super utility" guy Jason Bartlett.
As Pat Reusse wrote Sunday, the Twins don't need a 13-man pitching staff. But it would benefit them to have a better bench. Spefically, it would make sense to add Chris Herrmann in place of Bartlett. Herrmann has positional flexibility and would be a third option at catcher, which would allow Ron Gardenhire to bat Josmil Pinto more often, worry-free.
Bartlett took over in left field to start the second inning and misplayed two balls. He got too close to the wall and let the carom ricochet past him. Later, he dove for a ball that hit his glove and fell in for a double. He also made a diving attempt later that inning that came up short, for another double.
He struck out twice and got hit by a pitch in three plate appearances and stranded three runners.
He was lifted for pinch-hitter Eduardo Escobar, who also played left field.
4. Bartlett had replaced Josh Willingham, who left after getting plunked by Justin Masterson. It appeared Willingham was hit on the left wrist or hand area in his first-inning at bat. He stayed in the game to run but gave way to Bartlett after that. Willingham was taken for X-rays, which came back negative, according to media reports.
5. Derek Jeter on Sunday surpassed Paul Molitor on the career hits list Sunday. Jeter now stands alone at No. 8, with 3,320 hits. Both had great careers made more impressive by longevity.
Next on the list is Carl Yastrzemski, who has 99 more hits than Jeter.