Sunday, April 16, 2006

Jason Kubel Ranks on Gardenhire's Chopping Block

He hit a combined .352 with 22 homers and 100 RBI for the AAA Rochester Red Wings and AA New Britain, .343 for the Wings alone, then hit .300 in 60 atbats after a September callup to the Twins. So what does Minnesota manager Ron Gardenhire have to say about '04 International League Rookie of the Year Jason Kubel? How about, what have you done for me lately, son? Gardenhire has given the 23-year-old super prospect just 14 plate appearances so far to hit his way into the lineup. Now Gardenhire will punish Kubel for his .143 average by sending him down. Kubel has not been the same since blowing out his knee 16 months ago in the Arizona Fall League, and after the resulting year's layoff hardly has been given any sort of decent shot to knock off the rust. Expect Kubel's name to reappear on the Wings roster in the next few days while Gardenhire goes to the DL to activate somebody with some real potential: .230 hitter Ruben Sierra, age 43.

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