Luke Hughes, Making a Statement?

Luke Hughes is having a real good spring. So much so that he can’t escape the attention of the Twins coaching staff. In 10 games, Hughes has 10 hits in 27 at bats. Of those 10 hits, 2 are doubles and 3 are home runs with 10 RBIs with 4 runs scored. He’s hitting at a .370 clip with a on base percentage of .400 and slugging percentage of .778.

These are certainly good numbers. However, the Twins don’t have room on there roster, assuming Matt Tolbert is the utility player. Trevor Ploufe is another candidate for the utility role as well. Let’s take a look at how Tolbert and Ploufe are doing in spring training this year.

Tolbert has only batted 17 times in 9 games with 3 singles, 1 run scored and 1 RBI. His average and slugging percentage are both at .176 with an on base percentage of .250.

Ploufe isn’t fairing much better. He’s 4 singles in 17 at bats with 2 RBIs and 4 runs scored. His batting and slugging averages are both at .235 with an on base percentage of .263.

I think the factor that will determine if Luke Hughes makes the team will have to do with whether or not the Twins go with either an 11 or 12 men pitching staff. You can read one of my earlier blog posts on this topic at this link. https://troystwinsdugout.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/whos-going-to-fill-the-remaining-bullpen-spots/

And what will determine whether or not the Twins have 11 or 12 pitchers? It will be based upon how some of the candidates do in spring training. Some people believe that Glen Perkins will be on the team. I think he needs to earn that spot. Scott Diamond has been mentioned as well to make the club. He is a Rule 5 draft pick from the Atlanta Braves organization, meaning that the Twins will have to offer him back to the Braves if they don’t keep him on the big league club. I’ll detail how some of these pitchers are doing in spring training in my next blog.

I also believe that the schedule at the start of the regular season will be a big factor. In April, there are only 2 scheduled off days. The first of them is on April 11 and the second is on the 25. This suggests to me that we will have a 12 man pitching staff.

The other factor that will determine whether or not Hughes is on the club will have to do with the health of Justin Morneau. Indiciations are that if things go well for Morneau during spring training, he will be on the club.

But, there’s one thing for certain. Hughes is certainly making a statement that he wants to be on this club. However I believe that because Tolbert is the most versitle option to have on the bench, he will be on the club over Hughes.

By the way folks, you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/troystwinsblog

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