Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Friday, July 14, 2006

Ford to the DL

The Twins suffered two losses last night; the game, and outfielder Lew Ford, who was placed on the 15-day Disabled List. His replacement was Jason Tyner, who is having an All-Star season for AAA Rochester this year.

The move makes a lot of sense. If you look back to my post on arbitration-eligible Twins, I suggested that Lew Ford would be gone either at the trade deadline, if a team was desperate enough for an outfielder to take him, or at the end of the year when I expect him to be non-tendered (the same process, incidentally, that led to the departure of David Ortiz). Ford is a solid but unremarkable player whose batting average has gone down every year that he's been a big-leaguer; not a good career trend.

By bringing Jason Tyner up now, the Twins get an opportunity to see if he can fill Ford's role for the rest of the year, and possibly next season as well. Tyner can play every outfield position, like Ford; he is a scrappy player, like Ford; and hopefully, unlike Ford, he can hit. I'm not expecting miracles, mind you; Tyner is a career .261 hitter in 834 big-league at-bats. But Ford is hitting around .230 right now, so the Twins haven't exactly been getting a lot out of him.

While I never hope for an injury, this one presents the Twins with an opportunity to test a replacement, and my hope is that Tyner shines over the next two weeks, freeing the Twins hands to move Ford.

Matt Garza Promoted
The Strib article linked to above also mentions the promotion of Matt Garza to AAA Rochester. Garza made 10 starts in AA New Britain, most of them very, very good. The numbers are in the article, so I see no reason to repeat them here. Suffice it to say that Garza'a path so far has been remarkable, being drafted in June 2005, and making it to AAA just over a year later. I don't expect Garza to get Major League playing time this year (although there is a slightly higher possibility that he'll get a chance to come up in September after the rosters expand), but this move clearly indicates that the Twins believe Garza will be an important piece in the very near future. The timetable for him would now see him competing for a spot in the rotation next spring, and probably becoming a fixture with the team by the end of the 2007 season at the latest, barring a setback.

Congratulations to Garza, and hopefully he can keep on dominating the opposition.


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