Monday, March 31, 2008

Opening Day and Kubel not in the starting lineup

Well, the time has come and Twins baseball is about to kick off for the '08 season. The Twins open the season tonight against the L.A. Angels of Anaheim. Your hometown team will be starting offseason acquisition Livan Hernandez against RHP Jered Weaver. The lineups were just released by both Joe Christensen of the Star Trib. and Phil Miller of the Pioneer Press. There is one questionable player in tonight's lineup, although it came as no surprise to me as earlier today I predicted that Gardy would make this move. Here are the lineups and I'll discuss the questionable move afterwards.

1. Carlos Gomez, CF

2. Joe Mauer, C

3. Michael Cuddyer, RF

4. Justin Morneau, 1B

5. Delmon Young, LF

6. Craig Monroe, DH

7. Mike Lamb, 3B

8. Brendan Harris, 2B

9. Adam Everett, SS

Well, since most of those names were expected to be there and in that order, the strange move by Gardy deals with Craig Monroe. While I don't doubt Monroe's ability to hit the ball and believe him to be a capable DH, starting him against the right-handed Jered Weaver goes against all baseball experience and knowledge. Monroe, a right-handed hitter, has a .249 career average against righties, while platoon-mate Jason Kubel (a keft-handed hitter) has .269 career average against righties. Combine that with the fact that Kubel has a better personal career history against Weaver and the choice for DH should have been easy tonight - Kubel. However, Gardy took the strange route, selecting Monroe to start tonight.

It boggles my mind that Gardy continues to hold Kubel back. He almost never bats Kubel against lefties and to hold him back now against righties makes no sense. Most times I can't argue the way that Gardy manages, but the way that he has handled Kubel over the last 2 years and soon to be the '08 season makes no sense and it almost seems as if he has a personal vendetta against him.

Anyways, lets see how this plays out tonight, and first pitch in less than a half hour!

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