Reusse: Lost weekend puts focus on festering outfield issues

  • Article by: PATRICK REUSSE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 26, 2014 - 11:49 AM
hide

Twins right fielder Chris Colabello sat on the bench at AT&T Park during Sunday's game against the Giants. Colabello was sent down to Class AAA Rochester after the game.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

The Twins came into AT&T Park having won four of five and edged to two games over .500 at 23-21. Leadoff hitter Brian Dozier saw a fastball from San Francisco starter Tim Lincecum and drilled it into left field for a double.

Life looked promising for Minnesota’s athletes of summer after the first pitch of the weekend. The action that took place over the next 785 pitches sent the Twins careening downhill as if the Giants’ playground was located on Lombard Street.

Dozier tried to time Lincecum’s delivery and execute a no-out steal of third. He left early, Lincecum stepped off the mound and the Twins trailed 3-0 before the end of the first.

There was a 6-2 loss on Friday, a 2-1 loss in which the Twins were mystified by Ryan Vogelsong on Saturday, and finally came Sunday’s 8-1 loss in which Twins starter Ricky Nolasco went from being unlucky in the first to being pounded by the fifth.

The overmatched Twins were sent crawling home, under .500 and 0-3 to start this stretch of 20 games in 20 consecutive days.

The Twins outfield has been a mess for much of the season, with a hapless hitter, Aaron Hicks, in center field and often surrounded by shortstops or first basemen. Sunday, it was two shortstops (Eduardo Nunez in left and Danny Santana in center) and one first baseman (Chris Parmelee in right).

Santana gave up on a fly ball and allowed it to drop for a hit to open the Giants’ first. Nunez then butchered a fly ball and, presto, it was 2-0 for the home team.

Postgame, the announcement came that Josh Willingham and Oswaldo Arcia would rejoin the Twins on Monday at Target Field.

Willingham is sure to be in left field and Arcia in right. And what about center?

“Hicks is our center fielder …” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’ve just got to keep working with him. That’s our goal here, we’ve got to make him better.”

Big raises for everyone on the coaching staff if that happens.

The accompanying moves on the 25-player roster were to send Chris Colabello and Chris Herrmann to Class AAA Rochester. Colabello departs as the Twins’ RBI leader for the season with 30.

Colabello played in 20 games from March 31 to April 23 and batted .346, with nine doubles, three home runs and 26 RBI. He played in 20 games from April 24 to May 23 and batted .110 with a double, a home run and four RBI.

Gardenhire mentioned Colabello’s lack of playing time recently and his need for at-bats. Of course, the lack of playing time was a direct result of Colabello’s sudden turn from a force to ineptitude.

“I don’t know if anyone else noticed, but in the past 30 days I must have fouled off 50 pitches,” Colabello said. “When I’m swinging the bat well, I don’t hit many foul balls.

“I had pitches to hit. You always get pitches to hit. I’ve been fouling them back.”

Colabello split time between Rochester and the Twins last season. At Rochester, he was hitting out of a radically closed stance and put up numbers that made him the International League’s MVP. At Minnesota, big-league pitchers saw that approach, pitched him inside and he struck out incessantly.

Colabello, who bats righthanded, opened his stance for this season, made the team as a long shot in spring training, and became an April phenomenon. The opposition kept going in with fastballs, in the belief those would be the best answer for getting him out.

“Chris got beat in there a few times in big situations, and I think that made him too ‘inside’ conscious,” hitting coach Tom Brunansky said. “He was protecting in there and that caused him to miss some pitches out over the plate that he can drive.”

It’s easy to say Colabello had his run and don’t look for him to be back, but there’s also this:

Jason Kubel and Parmelee, two lefties, are basically the same player. The Twins need a righthanded hitter on the bench more than a lefthander.

Of course, there’s a greater need for a player who can take center field on a daily basis, and the Twins don’t have one of those, either.

 

Patrick Reusse can be heard 3-6 p.m. weekdays on AM-1500. preusse@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Tennessee 12/18/14 7:25 PM
Jacksonville
Philadelphia 12/20/14 3:30 PM
Washington
San Diego 12/20/14 7:25 PM
San Francisco
Minnesota 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12/21/14 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12/21/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12/21/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 12/21/14 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 12/21/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 12/21/14 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
Atlanta 6:00 PM
Cleveland
Phoenix 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Dallas 6:30 PM
Detroit
Utah 6:30 PM
Miami
Orlando 6:30 PM
Boston
Brooklyn 7:00 PM
Toronto
Memphis 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Milwaukee 9:00 PM
Portland
Houston 9:30 PM
Denver
Indiana 9:30 PM
LA Clippers
Ottawa 6:00 PM
New Jersey
Boston 7:00 PM
Minnesota
Dallas 9:00 PM
Vancouver
Langston 65 FINAL
North Texas 78
Delaware State 3:00 PM
St Francis-NY
James Madison 6:00 PM
Ball State
SIU Edwardsville 6:00 PM
Campbell
St Francis-PA 6:00 PM
Duquesne
North Florida 6:00 PM
Florida State
Catawba 6:00 PM
George Mason
Ferrum 6:00 PM
High Point
Hampton 6:00 PM
Illinois
Gardner-Webb 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
Longwood 6:00 PM
Miami-Ohio
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Miss State
Tennessee 6:00 PM
NC State
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Ohio State
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Robert Morris 6:00 PM
Toledo
Char Southern 6:00 PM
Wofford
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
Youngstown St
Barber-Scotia 6:00 PM
NC Central
Detroit 6:30 PM
UCF
Liberty 6:30 PM
UNC-Wilmington
TX A&M-CC 7:00 PM
Denver
Ark-Pine Bluff 7:00 PM
Houston
UT Martin 7:00 PM
Illinois State
Milligan 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Loyola-Chicago
USC Upstate 7:00 PM
Memphis
Alcorn State 7:00 PM
Murray State
Central Mich 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Georgia State 7:00 PM
Old Dominion
TX-Pan American 7:00 PM
Saint Louis
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
SMU
Texas State 7:00 PM
Stephen F Austin
SC State 7:00 PM
Texas Tech
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Tulsa
Chicago State 7:00 PM
Western Ky
Morehead State 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Northern Colorado 7:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Winthrop 8:00 PM
Auburn
New Mexico St 8:00 PM
Baylor
San Diego St 8:00 PM
Cincinnati
Eastern Mich 8:00 PM
Michigan State
Loyola Marymount 8:00 PM
Stanford
Incarnate Word 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Northeastern 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Central Arkansas 9:00 PM
New Mexico
Howard 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Portland 9:30 PM
UNLV
CS-Northridge 10:00 PM
Oregon
Grambling St 10:00 PM
Washington
Nevada 12/20/14 10:00 AM
Louisiana
Utah State 12/20/14 1:20 PM
Texas-El Paso
(23) Utah 12/20/14 2:30 PM
Colorado State
Western Mich 12/20/14 4:45 PM
Air Force
South Alabama 12/20/14 8:15 PM
Bowling Green
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Western Carolina 79 FINAL
UNC-Asheville 66
(21) Miss State 66 FINAL
Louisiana 51
(25) DePaul 109 FINAL
Loyola-Chicago 84
Liberty 64 FINAL
NC State 67
Elon 8 1st Half 16:03
Campbell 5
Akron 3:30 PM
UCF
Richmond 3:30 PM
UNC-Wilmington
Montana 4:00 PM
Seattle
(7) Stanford 5:00 PM
Chattanooga
Florida A&M 5:30 PM
Southern U
Oklahoma 5:30 PM
(13) Duke
Savannah State 5:30 PM
Auburn
Northern Colorado 6:00 PM
South Florida
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Siena 6:00 PM
Sacred Heart
Vermont 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
(1) South Carolina 6:00 PM
Hampton
Fla Gulf Coast 6:00 PM
Bethune-Cookman
Texas Southern 6:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Northwestern 6:00 PM
UNLV
NC A&T 6:00 PM
Appalachian St
NC Central 6:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
Drexel 6:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Cincinnati 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Alabama State 6:00 PM
Georgia Tech
Morehead St 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
Arkansas State 6:00 PM
Kent State
American Univ 6:00 PM
Manhattan
UNC Greensboro 6:00 PM
St Bonaventure
Arkansas-Monticello 6:30 PM
Northwestern St
Prairie View 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
McNeese State 7:00 PM
(3) Texas
Yale 7:00 PM
Wagner
Oakland 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
Eastern Kentucky 7:00 PM
Alabama A&M
SIU-Edwardsville 7:00 PM
Northern Ill
McMurry 7:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Portland 8:00 PM
Eastern Washington
North Texas 9:00 PM
San Francisco
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Do you like the Ervin Santana signing by the Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close