On a team where almost everyone seems to have a turn as the hero of the moment, 35-year-old Phil Nevin may be next in line. Acquired by the Twins from the Chicago Cubs on September 1 to provide power and run production, Nevin’s playing time has been limited on a roster filled with younger and currently more productive players. The right handed hitting first baseman has had just 30 at bats, with six hits, no home runs and one RBI. Known as a home run hitter, Nevin homered 41 times for San Diego in 2001 and as recently as 2004 hit 26 for the Padres.
His role as more of a spectator than participant is one he accepts. Nevin talks about being ready for designated hitting against left handers and occasionally giving Justin Morneau “a rest” while he plays first base and Morneau DH’s. “I know there’s going to come a time during the season where I am going to be in a position to help this team out and win a game or two, and hopefully then again in the playoffs,” Nevin said.
Nevin has been impressed with the quality of people in the Twins’ locker room. Teammates have made his late season transition to a new team much easier than it could have been and he talks about joining a “great group of guys.”
At his age and being a free agent after this season, Nevin’s run with the Twins may be only for 2006. Plus, in the future he’s interested in playing more. “I would like a chance to play everyday next year but I am not worried about that right now,” he said.
Nevin started the season with Texas where he hit 9 home runs in 176 at bats before being traded to the Cubs on May 31. With the Cubs he homered 12 times in 179 at bats.