Cool runnings: Twins plan to manufacture runs

Cool runnings: Twins plan to manufacture runs

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins' teams of the past have been known for their speed and ability to manufacture runs.

This season, the Twins don't quite possess that same ability, as witnessed by the team's 68 stolen bases -- the lowest total for the club since 1984. But with the way Yankees catcher Jorge Posada has struggled to shut down the opponents' running game, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said his club might try to run more in the American League Division Series against New York.

Gardenhire said the reports that the team has gotten from its scouts are that Posada is not throwing well behind the plate and that's one way the Twins can attack the Yankees.

"We are not a big running team," Gardenhire said. "But we have a few guys that can run, and we will definitely be looking to run and be looking at balls in the dirt and things like that. We'll be making sure guys at first base are aware of balls in the dirt. It's hard for Posada to bounce around and come up throwing. Hopefully, we'll try to take advantage that way."

Gardenhire added some speed to his roster by keeping all three utility infielders on his bench for the first round of the playoffs: Alexi Casilla, Matt Tolbert and Nick Punto. Of the three, Gardenhire said that Casilla is probably the best candidate to put in the game to steal a base.

Outfielder Jason Repko is also an option off the bench to pinch-run, but Gardenhire indicated that he'll likely use Repko as a defensive replacement for Jason Kubel late in games.