Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Sunday, September 09, 2007


In case you missed it, Jose Morales was placed on the 60 Day DL today after he suffered some sort of ankle injury (that apparently looked gruesome -- the evil FOX Saturday afternoon monopoly prevented me from seeing the game, but I certainly heard about it) in yesterday's ballgame (congrats to him, by the way, for an excellent pre-injury debut -- 3-for-3 is a pretty solid way to start off a career). While the injury supposedly is only a 2 or 3 week injury, the Twins obviously still felt that they needed an extra "catcher" around -- and with none on the 40-man roster and no open spots available, the Twins needed to place someone on the 60-Day DL (or designate someone for assignment, thus removing them from the roster) in order to add one.

What's astonishing, at least at first glance, is who the Twins decided to add. Prior to the start of the season, the Twins signed Matt LeCroy as a minor league free agent, and it was clear throughout Spring Training that he was overmatched against Major League pitchers. Nonetheless, the team gave him a roster spot in AAA Rochester, and LeCroy similarly showed that he was equally overmatched against minor league pitchers. LeCroy managed to hit just .194 in 247 AB's, with a miserable .281 OBP and a .560 OPS. For all of this, LeCroy has once again become a Major Leaguer.

I saw that this is astonishing at first glance because it isn't so astonishing when you think a little bit more about it. The Twins are set at catcher for next season, with Joe Mauer and Mike Redmond both returning. Chris Heintz will have an option remaining in 2008 if the Twins would like to bring him back to Rochester as the emergency catcher, and Jose Morales should be healed by then and ready to compete with Heintz as the organization's third catcher. Therefore, it would be utterly foolish, even if the Twins plan on parting ways with Heintz this off-season, to add yet another catcher (such as Drew Butera) to the 40-man roster and call him up.

Matt LeCroy is nothing more than a warm body, a player who will be able to come in and catch in an emergency situation without the Twins having any fear about what will happen to him behind the plate. At the end of the season, LeCroy will become a free agent, and Morales will come off of the 60-Day DL -- essentially the status quo. So long as he gets no more than, say, 10 AB's over the course of the last stretch of the season, it will have been a perfectly understandable decision. Heck, 10 might be too many. My hope for LeCroy is that he enjoys the next three weeks -- because I strongly suspect they will be the last that he spends in a Major League uniform.



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