I don't see how they can keep his bat out of the line-up, but trusting Ron Gardenhire to play the best people can backfire (which is why Ryan traded Castro after calling Bartlett up to remove any temptation, not that any smart manager would be but no one has accused Gardenhire of being smart).
Kubel has 20 homer type pop. His last healthy season in Triple-A his ISO was .217. Lot of doubles. Should hit for a very nice average.
Don't know where he'll end up if and when Stewart returns, either in left or at DH. Might sit every now and again against lefties.
There's been a little speculation around town that Stweart may get traded away to open up some playing time for Kubel, but I've also heard rumors that Hunter may be on the block as well.
But I will admit that I don't really try too hard to keep up with those type of rumors, and my information may be a bit out of date. Kubel was HIGHLY touted his first time up, and the knee injury took him away for a whole year as I recall. Been observed getting much closer to 100% as far as that goes, so there may be good things in his future. . . .
TomS. '12 H2H season standings: Team 1 = 140 - 118 - 12, 4 OF 12 Team 2 = 84 - 97 - 9, 6 OF 8
I think right now he's a 275/15 hitter prorated to how much he'll play as he is still technically very green and rusty coming off such a long non-baseball stint. Which should be all righties from here on out. His average well go up once he learns to lay off the breaking balls in the dirt to maybe even 320ish in his prime with 25-30 homers. The steals will be hit or miss, probably could steal 10 in a full season this year and maybe a few more in future years. Probably well help the Twins this year more then your fantasy teams. We need him BAD though and a 275/15 hitter is top notch by our standards.
It'll be interesting to see how they work the lineup next year with 3 pretty significant lefties.
Talk has been Hunter on the block because the Twins have a 9 mil option on him next year which they could better spread around to other players. I think the general consensus is that Hunter is good but not 9 mil good. if he goes Kubel could get full-time play.
If I am not mistaken, Gardenhire, like Tom Kelly before him, does not have a history of trusting rookies. So I would expect the immortal Lew Ford to get time in place of Kubel against lefties both starting and pinch hitting, as is the case tonight against Houston where Kubel is on the bench and Ford is starting against the lefty Rodriguez. Which is just plain dumb IMHO; Kubel should be playing regularly. He goes 2/4 against Oswalt last night, but gets benched today.
I would guess that Rondell White will be moved once Stewart comes off the DL. He's doing nothing for $3 million/year on a team with a slim payroll. That might open up a few more AB's for Kubel as the occasional DH if he's not in the OF. The fact that the Twins have given Liriano a shot at the rotation, and Bartlett in the IF might indicate a greater willingness to give the kids a chance to play regularly.
"Trying to hit him was like trying to drink coffee with a fork." - Willie Stargell on Sandy Koufax
The Big Train
Major League Manager
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Jason Kubel, who has played well in the field and at the
plate (homers in three of four games until Tuesday), is
expected to remain the Twins' regular left fielder even
after Shannon Stewart returns to the lineup, possibly
sometime in the next week or two.
Manager Ron Gardenhire said he likes how Kubel has handled
the job and that he plans to use Stewart mostly as a DH,
with spot starts in left, taking pressure off his injured
left foot (plantar fasciitis). Kubel went 2-for-4 in
Tuesday's 6-5 win over Houston to boost his average to .289.