Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Twins Torii Hunter Hitting .382 in Cleanup Spot

In the 14 games since Torii Hunter moved into the Twins cleanup spot, he's batting .382. Though it remains to be seen whether Hunter will stay in the No. 4 hole, he clearly is a better candidate than the peculiar choices of Tony Batista, Rubin Sierra and Rondell White, whom for reasons known only to manager Ron Gardenhire, were tried there first. Now if Gardenhire can only figure out that power hitter Justin Morneau belongs in the No. 5 spot. Morneau is a natural RBI producer and the threat of his big bat will force opposing teams to show Hunter better pitches. Ironically, the Twins had been playing so poorly until recently that the hole the team has dug may preclude any potential for reaching the playoffs, thus precipitating Hunter's imminent trade as he is in the last year of his contract and the Twins have no money to keep him.