Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Lew Ford Needs Surgery

This story has gone back and forth so often and so quickly that you could be forgiven for getting dizzy trying to follow it. Nevertheless, La Velle E. Neal is reporting that Ford is heading back to the Twin Cities to get arthroscopic surgery on his knee, and will miss 4-6 weeks. That obviously takes him out of the running for an opening day roster spot, so he'll actually be the first player dropped from my weekly roster updates.

Now, for the implications of the injury:

First, it virtually assures Jason Tyner of a spot on the opening day roster as the primary backup outfielder (I'm still counting Jason Kubel as a DH, not as a backup outfielder). Tyner is not hitting well at all, and there was some thought that he might find himself down in AAA to start the season. That's now virtually impossible unless the Twins were to decide to keep Denard Span with the big club - something that is not at all desirable, since he wouldn't get nearly enough playing time. With Ford out and Span in AAA, Tyner is the last available outfielder who can back up Torii in Center Field. He's in.

Second, it just became significantly more likely that the Twins will carry a 12th pitcher to start the season. Mike Venafro and J.D. Durbin are likely to compete for that spot over the remainder of the spring, and their only real competition would be Matt LeCroy, if the Twins wanted to carry another DH/1B/C (sorta) guy. Frankly, that doesn't seem too likely, so I think this locks in a 12/13 split between pitchers and position players at the start of the season.

Third, there's the question of how long Ford will be out. Officially, he's expected to miss 4-6 weeks. But even assuming he recovers quickly and misses just 4 weeks, he still will not have played in a game since last season. As a result, he's very likely to go on a rehab assignment to one of the minor league teams (possibly starting off in Beloit and then being sent to Rochester right before he's ready). That means we probably won't see Ford before the last week in April, at the earliest. That will give the guys who make the opening day roster about 3 weeks to prove that they belong there . . .

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  • At Sat Mar 10, 07:52:00 PM , Blogger Twins Territory said...

    Nicely done...

    As for your points, I agree. Mainly with the 12th pitcher. Those two are really the only two guys who have a chance at making the bullpen.

    As for Lecroy, I think I'd rather see Casilla, but with Ron's comments saying he needs to play everyday, I think he'll start at AAA.


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