Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Thoughts on Rondell White

I was reading through a Sid Hartman column from 6/17 (something my friend Martin Andrade suggests that I should not do), and came across this interesting tidbit:

While some in the media and a lot of fans are calling for Twins General Manager Terry Ryan to release deisgnated hitter Rondell White and take the loss on the remainder of his $2.5 million base salary for this season, Ryan is convinced White will find himself soon and elevate his sub-.200 average. Unless Ryan has a change of heart, he doesn't have any immediate plans to release White.
To which I say, "Good lord, I hope you are wrong." This information conflicts with what was said in the most recent Twins Notes from the Twins official website, not to mention conflicting with common sense.

The conventional wisdom is that White is a goner when Shannon Stewart is ready to return from his rehab assignment. In a post from not long ago, I suggested that this would happen after a rehab stint that is expected to begin after the Twins get back from Houston. I still expect that to be the case.

The question is why the Twins would get rid of anybody else on the roster. Jason Kubel has claimed the starting DH spot. Terry Tiffee is now useful as a backup third baseman and firstbaseman, with the departure of Castro. Luis Rodriguez similarly is needed as an extra infielder. Lew Ford hasn't played that well this season, but has the ability to play Center Field, something White cannot do. The Twins just recalled Ruben Sierra, so he isn't going anywhere. The team is already down to 11 pitchers, so one of them won't be sent down to make room for Stewart. Really, the only option is to make a move with White.

Additionally, with Sierra on the team and White having lost his spot as the starting DH, there are essentially now two players on the Twins bench who are in the "pinch hitter only" mode. The Twins don't want White starting in the outfield (although now I suspect there's much less concern about a White injury), and Sierra isn't going to be doing that anytime soon. The Twins don't need two players with essentially the same profile.

This, I suspect, is yet another situation where Sid is being contrary for the sake of being contrary. He should be proved wrong when Stewart returns. If not, my estimation of Terry Ryan's abilities as a GM may be taken down a peg.


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