Terry Ryan has been the Minnesota Twins general manager for less than two weeks in this current stint. And already, the Twins have two new infielders, though neither addition is too exciting.
Just days after the Jamey Carroll signing became official, Ryan Doumit agreed to a one-year, $3 million deal with the Twins.
Doumit – though oft-injured – seems like a great fit for the Twins thanks to his versatility. In addition to his catching experience, he also has logged considerable time at first base and in right field.
A capable hitter with questionable fielding skills, Doumit is a career .271 hitter coming off one of the best seasons of his career. Last season with Pittsburgh, he hit .303 and slugged .477 for the Pittsburgh Pirates in 77 games. Should Joe Mauer suffer any long-term injuries in 2011, the Twins can count on Doumit to be much more productive than Drew Butera, Rene Rivera, Steve Holm, Matt Walbeck, Javier Valentin and any other potential backstop option they can find.
Of course, the caveat with Doumit is that he is no stranger to the injury bug. Only twice in his seven-year career has he logged at least 300 at-bats, and his career high for ABs is only 431.
But given Mauer’s history, it made a lot of sense to add Doumit. At the very least, he can spell Mauer at catcher, spell Justin Morneau at first base and play some time at designated hitter – to preserve his own health – and in the outfield. His lack of range won’t hurt the Twins, since that’s one attribute that Ben Revere and Denard Span bring plenty of. Span and Revere can definitely shade teams to the right a little bit more, since they have the speed to make up for it.
If I were running the Twins – and if I were, the organization would likely be in much worse shape than it already is – I would tell Mauer and Doumit that they will split time at catcher and first base 50/50 and make Morneau the primary DH. Honestly, almost every other day, Mauer and Doumit would switch spots, with Doumit logging occasional time in the outfield. Keep their legs fresh.