Wednesday, March 30, 2005

It Just Doesn't Make Sense

An article from the Star Tribune a couple days ago talks about how Ron Gardenhire is considering starting the season with four catchers on the 25-man roster. The first three - Joe Mauer, Mike Redmond, and Matthew LeCroy - are all locked in for roster spots. But his suggestion of bringing Corky Miller as well is absolutely baffling to me. He mentioned it as a possibility because the team is still worried about Mauer's knee... okay, fine, but you already have two guys who can play catcher. Perhaps I would understand the notion of bringing Miller north with the team if he was having a phenomenal spring, but he's hitting only .217. So basically, having Redmond and Miller both on the roster would give us nearly identical players: good defensive catchers who can't hit much and are both right-handed.

Furthermore, Miller would take away a valuable roster space that could be saved for a much more useful player. The team has five bench spaces, with three essentially locked down. Redmond, LeCroy, and Juan Castro are essentially assured of spots because they all fill particular needs. One has to imagine that Terry Tiffee will make the team, as he provides a backup third-basemen and a left-handed bat off the bench. Therefore, it comes down to Michael Restovich, Nick Punto, and (apparently) Miller. Restovich has had an outstanding spring and is out of options, meaning the team will likely lose him if they don't keep him on the Major League roster. Punto is a scrappy switch-hitter who can play various positions on the field and could some Major League experience as he seems like a potential heir to the starting second-base position. Miller is a 29 year-old catcher whose career batting average is .203. Who would you keep? Hmm...

I sincerely hope that Gardenhire is not actually considering this.