Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Is Nishioka Winning a Job?

In general, the players really in competition for major league jobs will get the most plate appearances in spring training. They want players to see major league competition, not the other teams minor leaguers, so it also matters when a player gets his chances. But the result of that is somewhat the same. Players who start games get 2 or 3 at bats and the guys who hit later, often only get 1 or 2.

So I thought it would be interesting to look at where things stood so far in terms of plate appearances. Here are the Twins players who have received the most plate appearances in regular games so far in spring training.

24 - Willingham
23 - Morneau
22 - Nishioka
21 - Doumit, Plouffe, Revere
20 - Burroughs, Casilla, Valencia, Carroll
19 - Mauer, Parmelee, Span

17 - Benson, Hughes, Dinkleman, Pearce

15 - Dozier, Mastroianni

13 - Bates, Tosoni

11 - Florimon
<10 - Everyone else

If you look at that first group there aren't many surprises. Parmelee and Burroughs are the only players not likely to be on the major league roster.

What is surprising is none of the players that would appear to be competition for Nishioka are getting a lot of plate appearances. Florimon is the only one listed above, although both Chang and Holiman have 9 plate appearances. That may be an indication that one alternative to Nishioka is go without a true utility guy. Burroughs, Plouffe and Hughes could back up at third, shortstop and second respectively. Its also possible Nishioka has shown enough in camp that they think he is likely to win the job.


Jim H said...

There are several possibilities here. There is a good chance that the Twins aren't as down on Nishioka as several reporters have suggested and many bloggers would like to believe. Maybe the Twins don't like any of the 3 possibilities and are going to look for a late cut out of somebody else's camp.

The 3rd possibility is that whoever seems the strongest defensively will get more of a chance to take the utility spot during the rest of camp.

TT said...

Reporters tend to hear what they expect to hear. So its perfectly believable that the Twins are ready to go with Nishioka. Its obviously mostly speculation at this point.

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