Peep Show

Updated: March 2, 2004, 8:47 AM ET
By Jim Baker

American League

Boston Red Sox: Was 2002 an aberration for Mark Bellhorn, or an indication of what he can be expected to do on a big league ballfield? The Red Sox are hedging their bets. They're not giving him a starting job but are expected to give him a roster spot when the season opens. Bob Hohler of the Boston Globe writes that Bellhorn will be asked to fill in at every infield position as well as the outfield. Last year was a complete disaster for the 29-year old as his slugging average fell dramatically and he couldn't even hit at Coors Field in a brief stint with the Rockies. What went wrong in '03? "I've been asked this question a million times, and if I knew the answer I would have fixed it last year," he told Hohler. "I think I put a little too much pressure on myself, trying to hit 27 home runs with every at-bat." One thing that did remain constant, however, was his batting eye. He still drew a walk once every six plate appearances in 2003.

Minnesota Twins: Here's a headline that's sure to make Twins fans shudder: "If Mauer falters, Blanco is next option." You'd shudder too at the thought of your top prospect coming up short Brandon Phillips style, leaving you with a 32-year old with a career .295 on base percentage and .353 slugging average in his place. It's not a nice thing to contemplate, given that the Twins traded one of the more productive catchers in baseball -- A.J. Pierzynski -- to make room for the phenom Mauer. That probably won't happen, though. "I don't think Mauer will have any problems," manager Ron Gardenhire told Patrick Reusse of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at