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Monday, February 25, 2008


The Twins rightfield job will belong to Michael Cuddyer in 2008. As of this winter, Twins fans can know that they will be able to watch Cuddyer for at least another 3-years.

Cuddyer's new 3-year deal will provide some stability to a young Twins roster in the lineup and in the dugout. Over the past two years Cuddyer has solidified himself as a consistent contributor for the Twins. In 2007, he hit .276 with 16 HRs and 81 RBIs in 144 games. It was a solid season for Cuddyer, but like every other player on the Twins roster '07 was a dip from Michael's '06 campaign when he hit .284 with 24 HRs and 109 RBIs. This year with a young lineup the Twins are going to need Cuddyer to match those '06 numbers or even improve on them.

Cuddyer brings a great arm in rightfield 19 outfield assists in '07. Manager Ron Gardenhire confirmed yesterday at Spring Training that Cuddyer will remain the rightfielder in 2008 and newcomer Delmon Young will fill the vacancy in left field. It does remain to be seen where Cuddyer will bat in the lineup. Gardenhire also stated on Sunday that he wants to have his MVP Justin Morneau bat in the cleanup spot at No. 4. "Gardy" hinted at the possibility of Joe Mauer batting in the No. 2 spot because of his high on-base percentage. That will leave the No. 3 and No. 5 spot to be filled in by the likes of Michael Cuddyer and Delmon Young. I believe Gardenhire would put Cuddyer in the No. 3 spot, but if it were up to me and Young develops a little more patience at the plate I would put Young as the third hitter.

All of these questions will be answered in the following weeks as practices conclude and Spring Training games begin. One thing is for certain, Michael Cuddyer is an important part of this team and the Twins will need him to hit, field, and lead in 2008.

For proof of Cuddyer already taking a leadership role, check out the new T-shirts Cuddy had made for the team on Saturday.

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