A Plan For Pinto
Pinto had been slumping after a red-hot April, so to some extent, his demotion was intended to get his bat back on track. But the bigger issue was that he was rarely catching with the Twins, giving him little opportunity to improve defensive skills that were drawing critical reviews from both coaches and players.
Instead of allowing him to stick around and DH -- a role he seemed well equipped for -- the Twins signed Kendrys Morales and sent Pinto to Triple-A, ostensibly to refine him as a catcher. However, it's now becoming harder and harder to believe that the team views that as his long-term position.
Kurt Suzuki's contract extension is one development that has clouded Pinto's future behind the plate. There is also the fact that Pinto hasn't even been the full-time catcher in Rochester. He has caught in only 30 of 52 games since being sent down, with nearly every other start coming at DH in recent weeks.
There is really no doubt that Pinto's bat is big-league ready. That was fairly apparent when he was here, and has been reinforced by his offensive dominance in Triple-A, where he's hitting .302/.399/.500.
It just isn't clear where the 25-year-old fits. The Twins don't appear to view him as a starting catcher and it looks like they favor Kennys Vargas at DH. Is Pinto likely to be traded this offseason? It makes little sense to keep letting him crush Triple-A pitching while catching only part-time.
What would you do with Pinto?
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