31 March 2010
Originally published at TwinsMVB.com.
I participated in a
While I try to justify wasting a couple of hours debating the temporary backup
Just replace “practice” with “temporary backup
But, as the regular season has yet to grace us with her presence, I'll take some time to address this issue.
Jose Morales was the Twins' backup
In my (very uninformed) opinion, the Twins will be lacking Morales for two months at the very most. Who replaces him as backup
The bottom line is this: Wilson Ramos is a better player than Drew Butera. Minnesota fans would be thrilled if Butera could maintain a .200 batting average over the course of the season. His defensive abilities are well documented, but he is a clear liability at the plate.
If the Twins care solely about adding half a win to their regular season total, they will let Ramos sit on the major-league bench for the first third of the season. More likely, however, is that the Twins care about Ramos as a prospect – and his potential trade value -- and will allow him to hit away in Triple-A, (where he has yet to take an at-bat, by the way.)
There are several ways you could give Ramos consistent playing time with the big-league club, but none of which that wouldn't limit the playing time of others. Ramos could be the designated hitter twice a week, or he could even be stuck out in left field for a game or two. Jason Kubel, Jim Thome, and even Delmon Young or Michael Cuddyer could receive fewer at-bats if Ramos were given the backup
Isolating Ramos' future, it is clear that he would be best served by beginning 2010 with the Rochester Red Wings. Sitting on the bench would do nothing for his development, nor his trade potential.*
*I hold the mostly unpopular opinion that Ramos should eventually be traded. He is a great catching prospect who is stuck behind the best
Some suggest that Ramos should ease into the
That isn't to say the Twins should unload Ramos for the first player they find attractive (see: Bell, Heath), but they should eventually trade the catching prospect.
It comes down to this: If the Twins have nothing but their own 2010 success as a purpose, they will probably give Ramos the nod to start the 2010 season. If Bill Smith understands Ramos' prospect status and that he hasn't played above Double-A in his career, he will allow the 22-year-old time to develop.
The Twins have a special catching prospect on their hands, and would be best served by not spoiling him.