We're trying to take some pressure off of Lou-Lou, not having him think about all those other things [when batting so high]. He can just see the ball and get good pitches to hit. Maybe he'll relax down there."
This comment from a guy who took a month to drop Rivas to the bottom of the order. This is the same organization that a couple of years ago was leading its division and shuttling Matt LeCroy between AAA and the majors. In the meantime batting him cleanup for the big club. Reading that comment it would be easy to conclude that Lew Ford has struggled as much as any Twin.
Everyone knows that all Lew has done is hit since his return to the majors. Why the Twins feel they have to baby him and how they base their lineup decisions is sometimes baffling. Who better to hit at the top then somebody who is capable of getting on base and driving in runs? Heck, he's even got some speed. Instead the Twins would rather have him "relax" at the bottom of the order while a stiff is collecting extra outs at the top. The plan now is to bat Doug Mientkiewicz in the two hole. This is not bad as it puts three guys with a knack for getting on base at the top. Last night Lew batted fifth, a place you would expect him to be at this point so Gardy has not completely lost his mind.
Why Lew though? The organization didn't baby Justin Morneau last year at a time it probably should of. He broke in batting right in the middle of the order and was moved down only when he couldn't cut it. Lew has done everything possible to this point and yet the Twins continue to not believe in him. If he is not currently relaxed, what kind of numbers can we expect when he is! Batting in front of the 3rd and 4th hitters the 2nd guy in the lineup gets more good pitches to drive then just about anyone else. Could it just be that the Twins have decided what kind of player Ford is and no matter what he does he wont change their mind? In the meantime we are likely to more Guzman and Rivas at the top then Sweet Lew. The higher Lew bats, as long as he has the hot hand, the better.
Joe Mays pitched to the coaches yesterday and performed well. It is good to see Joe on track for a late season return to the majors. Remember, he has not been healthy since his great 2001 campaign. He may not be all the way back when he returns this year but next year expect him to earn his paycheck. It's too bad he has not been able to live up to expectations. He's a great guy and great competitor.
I still can't see the games so I missed an amazing win last night. It's good to see the big hits keep coming. Look for a great outing from Kyle Lohse this time out. He is due and coming off several gutsy performances. That's it for tonight. It is a busy time of year with school ending. At least I've been able to catch former Twins the last couple of nights on TBS.