It’s been incredibly hard to get into the most recent Twins games.

 

Between star players uncertain about their futures (note: two separate links there), an ace pitcher performing well below his standards (again, two links), and a lineup that regularly includes near-worthless veterans such as Rondell White, Luis Rodriguez, Chris Heintz, Jason Tyner, and Nick Punto instead of future-of-the-organization young guns such as Jason Kubel, Brian Buscher, and Alexi Casilla.

 

To be fair to Heintz, Mike Redmond is still out with a finger injury and it has just been brought to the surface that Joe Mauer has struggled with a possible hernia injury since mid-season.

 

But there’s no reason for Nick Punto to stop Brian Buscher from gaining defensive experience at the ML level, especially if Gardenhire says that Punto practically has the 2B job heading into spring training next year.

And maybe it’s a good thing we never saw Denard Span get called up from AAA. Generally, if a player gets a September call-up, it means he has a chance to get a starting job the next spring, or at least he is in the team’s immediate plans for the future. Is it possible the Twins are planning for Torii Hunter to be their top offseason priority? One can hope. As much as I may have bashed him in the past, there really is no hope for next season if he is not brought back. Span certainly won’t do the job. I’m not confident the team could find an adequate replacement in free agency, either. It’s such a tough situation with 3B an apparent hole now that Punto is in line for second and Buscher not getting playing time, even when the games don’t count. And a powerful DH is needed for the team, too. In my eyes LF is solid with Jason Kubel showing what he is capable of with his play in August and September.

 

I’m going to the game today, it starts at 1 and Kevin Slowey is pitching. I want to be positive but also realistic, so I will come out and say it: I could possibly be attending Torii’s last game in the Metrodome with a Twins uniform on. Apparently he got a standing ovation for every at-bat in yesterday’s game, so I imagine today’s will be even more emotional for some. Look for another post recapping today’s game and other thoughts tomorrow morning.

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