In Michael Cuddyer’s 11th season with the Twins he was voted as their lone All-Star selection. Manager Ron Gardenhire has had nothing but positive things to say about Cuddyer’s leadership, toughness, and versatility (47 starts in RF, 21 at 1B, and 13 at 2B). In his career with the Twins he has played every position besides catcher and shortstop. His starts at 1B have helped the Twins deal with injuries to Justin Morneau, and his starts at 2B helped them with Nishioka’s broken leg.
Cuddyer is the Twins most deserving candidate with a team leading 12 HR’s to go along with 39 runs, 35 RBIs, a surprising 7 SBs and a solid .290/.359/.469 clip. Without Cuddyer’s production, versatility and most importantly ability to stay on the field, the Twins 2011 season would be a lost cause.
Cuddyer’s All-Star selection is indicative of how the Twins best players have been under performing:
•3 time All-Star Joe Mauer has played in just 26 games halfway through the season and is currently hitting .236 in those limited ABs.
•3 time All-Star Justin Morneau played 55 games through a neck injury and was only able to hit 4 HR’s with a .225 BA. Although Morneau wanted to play through the injury since he saw the trouble the Twins season was in, the Twins elected to go through with the surgery and hopefully Morneau can return in August.
•4 time All-Star Joe Nathan is making his way back from Tommy John surgery struggled at the beginning of the year (6.52 ERA) before going back on the DL.
•Jason Kubel was the Twins hottest hitter (.310/.355/.465) but sprained his foot on June 30th and has not returned since.
•Francisco Liriano (All-Star in ’06) struggled mightily in his first 5 starts (9.13 ERA) before a no-hitter and a DL stint turned his season around.
Cuddyer is a free agent this season and has made it clear that he wants to stay in Minnesota. With an already high payroll, and Delmon Young, Denard Span, Jason Kubel and Cuddyer, the Twins have one too many OF’s and will have some touch decisions to make in the off-season or possibly the trading deadline.
About the Author
Written by Jonathan Fawkes
I was born and raised in Brooklyn but I'm a long suffering Minnesota sports fan (Twins, T'Wolves, Vikings). Looking forward to Teddy Bridgewater, Byron Buxton and Andrew Wiggins bringing a winning culture to Minnesota. Thanks for reading!