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Yesterday, I wrote about the early struggles of Justin Morneau. On cue, the first baseman popped off for two home runs agains the Tigers last night, doubling his season total.
Figuring I'd try and run this string out, I asked Twitter which struggling player they wanted me to write about today. The most popular answers were "bullpen" and "everyone," but among individual players the name I saw most was Delmon Young.
OK, fine, I'll write about Young. But I won't enjoy it. I'm bored with him. Can't bring myself to care about him anymore.
He lopes around apathetically in the outfield. He was a bad defender when he actually seemed to care; now he's basically unplayable out there (though Ron Gardenhire continues to trot him out daily anyway).
At the plate, Young seems similarly disinterested. Despite being a 25-year-old fresh off a breakout season, he has inexplicably turned into one of the league's worst hitters. A third of the way through through the campaign, Young has hit one home run, driven in 11, and posted a lower OPS than such sluggers as Alexi Casilla, Luke Hughes and Rene Rivera.
He's striking out once every five at-bats, and when he puts the ball in play it's typically on a weak, defensive swing early in the count. The fire that burned within Young last year, when he hit 21 homers and drove in 112 runs, has not been seen since.
On top of the lackadaisical performance, there's the external drama that habitually follows him around. Young wasted a spot on the 25-man roster for over a week in April while holding himself out of the lineup with an oblique injury, then when he was finally allegedly ready to play, he said he couldn't get loose on a cold night. The Twins immediately moved him to the DL, where he remained for almost two weeks beyond being eligible to return. What?
Seems clear we didn't get the whole story there, but whatever. I don't care anymore. Young has made himself about as unlikable as possible to fans and media members with his abrasively unpleasant personality, and now that his level of play has followed suit there's just not much reason to want him around.
I know his value is about as low as can get, but I'd still like to see the Twins move him and give him a change of scenery. Let Ben Revere play the rest of the season in left. He's got a much better shot at playing into the team's future plans, and he actually plays like he wants to be out there.
That's what fans pay to see.
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