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Friday, February 22, 2008

Third Base

Not only did the Twins sign the shortstop of the Houston Astros, Adam Everett, but a day after they signed Everett they signed the third baseman, Mike Lamb, from the Houston Astros.

Last year in a 3B platoon, Lamb hit .289 with 11 HRs and 40 RBIs in 311 at bats. In the past three seasons the Twins have started the season with a different player at the hot corner (Michael Cuddyer '05, Tony Batista '06, and Nick Punto '07). Simply put, third base has been a problem for the Twins. Cuddyer couldn't field as well as the Twins liked, Punto couldn't hit last year, and well... Tony Batista couldn't really do anything. The hope is that this year Lamb will be a solid combination of the two.

The Twins signed Lamb, 32, to a two-year deal worth $6.6 million and a club option for 2010. So the Twins are certainly investing in Lamb and hoping he will solve their problems in the past at third. Lamb has spent his entire career as a platoon player splitting his time between 1B and 3B. The Twins believe if Lamb has a solidified position day-in and day-out he will only improve on his career averages of .280 with 12 HRs.

I'm not completely convinced on Lamb's ability to be an everyday player, especially since he has shown some vulnerability to facing left-handed pitching. However, I'm ready for the Twins to try this experiment and any move that puts Nick Punto back as a utility player is a good move in my mind. With the infield stocked with options between Punto, Brendan Harris, and Alexi Casilla I feel confident that someone will emerge.

Although I have my doubts, I'm going to go ahead and make big expectations for Lamb in 2008. He is the most prototypical 3B the Twins have had in years. He'll bring a solid bat and an average glove, and with Astros teammate Everett playing along side him I think the infield defense will be just fine.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still miss Gary Gaetti!!!