If you follow me on Twitter you already know that I loathe the lack of playing time that Josmil Pinto is receiving. I have ca-razy ideas on how to deal with this situation but the decision is not up to me. But, what if it was? Here's how I would communicate my ideas to Ron Gardenhire.
Me: Hey Gardy, we're making a few changes.
Gardy: Swanny, you know how I feel about changes.
Me: You know how I feel about being called "Swanny" and you know I prefer "Swanstar" or "Big Chief Swan." We're sending Danny Santana back to AAA. He needs to continue to develop as a shortstop so he can't be your backup center fielder.
Gardy: Bummer. Santanazy's done a nice job up here.
Me: I know. He'll be back before you know it, but we've got Eduardo Escobar and Eduardo Nunez to play short and handle the rest of the infield if needed.
Gardy: Well, Esco and Nunezy are battling, so we'll go with it. Still need a backup for center.
Me: I'm calling up Wilkin Ramirez. Remember, you liked him last year.
Gardy: Ramirezy is a great player, he lays it on the line, but he's hitting .248 at AAA. He's not getting it done. He's basically Cuddy right now.
Me: He's not going to play much. He can fill in during the late innings when you need him. He can hit lefties if you need him. He's a bench guy, he doesn't need to be great.
Gardy: I'll make it work. I can battle too.
Me: Now, I need a 40-man spot to add Ramirez, so Jason Kubel's gone.
Gardy: (tears welling up) I don't know about that, Chief, Kubel's a big part of this club. He's a veteran. He'll get dirty. He's...(bursts into tears) he's my friennnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnd.
Me: Gardy, it's a business, I'm sorry. He's not getting it done and we need the spot. It was a nice run and he gave us a solid April, but it's nearly June and he's done here.
Gardy: (sobbing) It's just so sudden.
Me: These things aren't easy, I understand. But hey, I'm bringing you Chris Herrmann.
Gardy: (eyes light up slightly) Herrmannzy? (sniffles) For serious?
Me: For serious. But, he's a bench guy too. I'm calling him up because I want Josmil Pinto AND Kurt Suzuki in the lineup every day. No starts for Herrmann, Parmelee's on the bench too, don't even think of starting Nunez or Ramirez at DH. Pinto's in the lineup every day.
Gardy: I don't know, he's pretty young. He's never even seen Midnight Run.
Me: Gardy, I've told you before that you can't make lineup decisions based on Charles Grodin.
Gardy: Shucks. Well, what happens if Pintozy and Zuky both get hurt in the same game?
Me: We've talked about this, it's just one game, you'll use a pitcher for a few innings and we'll get you another catcher the very next day. This is a very rare occurrence. You have to get over this.
Gardy: What if Dozierzy gets hurt?
Me: Slide Escobar to second, bring Nunez off the bench to play short.
Gardy: What if Plouffey goes down?
Me: Use Nunez again. Or slide Escobar to third and put Nunez at short. Either way works.
Gardy: What if Dozierzy, Esco, Plouffey, Waldo and Hicksy all collide on the same play?
Me: Nunez to short, Herrmann to left, Ramirez to center, Mauer to third, Parmelee to first, prop Brian Dozier up at second and just see what happens.
Gardy: Hmm, that's brilliant. And, I get to keep my DH. One more question - What if I want to talk with Kubel because I miss him?
Me: I hope you got him to sign your yearbook.