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  • Twins Call Up Jorge Polanco Directly From Single-A

    When we ranked infielder Jorge Polanco as the eighth-best prospect in the Minnesota Twins organization this spring, we noted that a strong first-half performance in High-A could put him on the fast track to the majors.

    Of course, we never would have suspected it would be this fast.

    On Thursday, the Twins announced that they have promoted Polanco directly from Single-A to the majors. At age 20, he becomes the youngest player to don a Minnesota uniform since Joe Mauer back in 2004.

    Now, before you get too worked up, it bears noting that this move is most likely born out of necessity, and not permanent. With Trevor Plouffe and Eduardo Nunez already on the disabled list, the Twins were left dangerously thin on infielders after Danny Santana pulled up lame while rounding the bases on Wednesday night.

    Polanco was the only available player on the 40-man roster with the ability to play everywhere in the infield, so calling him up was the only way for the club to add infield depth without substantial roster tweaking.

    Having said that, Polanco deserves plenty of credit for putting himself in a position where Ron Gardenhire and the Twins aren't afraid to potentially put him up against big-league competition. While playing in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League and playing primarily at shortstop, the Dominican was hitting .289/.363/.404 with 20 extra-base hits (five homers), eight steals and a 42-to-35 K/BB ratio in 329 plate appearances.

    Polanco was the third-youngest qualified position player in the FSL. Now, he becomes the youngest player in the majors, outside of Texas' Rougned Odor.

    In all likelihood, Polanco's stay will be a short one. He's probably being brought up as insurance and might not even get a start. With Plouffe expected to return from the disabled list on Monday, the Twins can slide Pedro Florimon or Eduardo Escobar back into a backup role.

    Still, this is a pretty cool and unusual story. Hopefully we'll be able to see the kid get a chance in the coming days.

    To make room for Polanco on the 25-man roster, starting pitcher Yohan Pino was optioned to Triple-A.
    Comments 69 Comments
    1. Danchat's Avatar
      Danchat -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      They are at 12 now. Which might mean that one of the 12 is starting in 4 days. If that is the case, I think that it will be Swarzak and not Deduno. When Plouffe and Nunez return, a couple of position players (Florimon and Polanco?) will likely go down
      Hmmmm... I guess I was under the impression that May, Darnell, or Johnson would get that start, but knowing Gardy, he might just stretch out Swarzak. At this point I'd rather see Deduno back in the rotation than see Swarzak start.... but Deduno is a good long reliever.

      Also... Is Nunez close to returning soon?
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by DocBauer View Post
      Completely out of left field!.
      I love this metaphor to describe Polanco's call up. I don't know why.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by RonCoomer View Post
      I believe Kent Hrbek was called up straight from A-ball.
      And Rod Carew
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Danchat View Post
      Hmmmm... I guess I was under the impression that May, Darnell, or Johnson would get that start, but knowing Gardy, he might just stretch out Swarzak. At this point I'd rather see Deduno back in the rotation than see Swarzak start.... but Deduno is a good long reliever.

      Also... Is Nunez close to returning soon?
      Nunez started at SS for New Britain last night. He was 0-3. It sounds like if all goes well, he'll be back on Monday.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Nunez started at SS for New Britain last night. He was 0-3. It sounds like if all goes well, he'll be back on Monday.
      That was my understanding all along. Nuñez' injury was not a two-week injury. Since he has been a part-time player, it is probably helpful to get him at-bats and since he plays several positions, it would help for him to play a couple different positions before returning to the Twins.

      I expect that Plouffe will be ready on Monday, as well. Two things temper my optimism on Plouffe: 1) history--Plouffe has had at least two episodes where he was supposed to be back the day after tomorrow and the goal line kept moving. 2) nature of injury--pulls and strains in the side and ribcage seem to always take longer than expected to heal. His injury was not diagnosed as an oblique strain or pull, so maybe this injury won't be so slow to heal.
    1. Seth Stohs's Avatar
      Seth Stohs -
      I noticed a few people asked about Service Time. If he's up for 4 days, it is 4 days of service time. I hope he gets a start or two and does well. I would still think he returns to Ft. Myers at that point though AA is a possibility too.

      They really like Polanco in the organization. People I've talked to talk about his intelligence, his personality and obviously his baseball abilities.

      He needs to play though, and that's why he goes back to the minors. Can't have a player with that much talent sitting on the bench.
    1. tarheeltwinsfan's Avatar
      tarheeltwinsfan -
      Keep calm and carry on. Polanco's visit with the Twins will be very short.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      And Rod Carew

      Apparently not Carew. LEN3 was published today in the Tribune (www.startribune.com/sports) that there were four previos Twins promoted from Class A
      Jim Manning '62, Butch Wynegar '76, Kent Hrbek '81, and Jim Eisenreich '82.
    1. Dantes929's Avatar
      Dantes929 -
      As much as I want to see May pitch I also think Pino deserved more of a shot. 1-1 with one quality start in the bigs after 9-1 in the minors. Yes, he may be this year's Albers or Walters or whoever but everyone has a clunker now and then and it did come against one of the best offenses in the league. I would have liked to see him start at least one more. I think he deserved it.
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      I think Pino was just a victim of unexpected circumstances. I would guess he would have gotten at least another start if they didn't need to clear room for an emergency reserve infielder. Because he wasn't going to be in a game over the weekend, his roster spot was the most dispensible without leaving them short on relievers who may be needed.
    1. Kirby_Waved_At_Me's Avatar
      Kirby_Waved_At_Me -
      Was Polanco added to the 40-Man too early, or would he have been eligible to be a Rule V draftee if he was not on the 40-Man this year?

      Promoting a guy from single-A ball is a huge jump, would it have been more prudent to have another AAA or AA middle infielder on the 40-Man instead of Polanco?

      Or was this a case of protecting Polanco from being taken by another team (either Rule V or minor league free agent)?
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kirby_Waved_At_Me View Post
      Was Polanco added to the 40-Man too early, or would he have been eligible to be a Rule V draftee if he was not on the 40-Man this year?

      Promoting a guy from single-A ball is a huge jump, would it have been more prudent to have another AAA or AA middle infielder on the 40-Man instead of Polanco?

      Or was this a case of protecting Polanco from being taken by another team (either Rule V or minor league free agent)?
      He was added last winter, to protect him from this past Rule 5 draft. Same for Vargas and Kepler.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Apparently not Carew. LEN3 was published today in the Tribune (www.startribune.com/sports) that there were four previos Twins promoted from Class A
      Jim Manning '62, Butch Wynegar '76, Kent Hrbek '81, and Jim Eisenreich '82.
      Hmm. Wonder what his source is. Baseball Cube shows Carew going from A+ to the Twins with no stops in between.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Apparently not Carew. LEN3 was published today in the Tribune (www.startribune.com/sports) that there were four previos Twins promoted from Class A
      Jim Manning '62, Butch Wynegar '76, Kent Hrbek '81, and Jim Eisenreich '82.
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=carew-001rod

      Click on the link. Apparently LEN and the Strib are wrong.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Quote Originally Posted by spycake View Post
      He was added last winter, to protect him from this past Rule 5 draft. Same for Vargas and Kepler.
      Speaking of that, has anyone looked at who will be eligible this year (unless rostered of course)?

      AJ Achter
      Alex Meyer
      Deolis Guerra
      Eddie Rosario
      Jason Wheeler
      Miguel Sano
      Niko Goodrum
      Reynaldo Rodgriguez
      Sean Gilmartin
      Todd Van Steensel
      Tim Shibuya
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=carew-001rod

      Click on the link. Apparently LEN and the Strib are wrong.
      Yep, and not for the first time. C'mon guys, how hard is it to get this stuff right, especially when you have direct access to the Twins' press secretary and stat services?
    1. SD Buhr's Avatar
      SD Buhr -
      Quote Originally Posted by Willihammer View Post
      Speaking of that, has anyone looked at who will be eligible this year (unless rostered of course)?

      AJ Achter
      Alex Meyer
      Deolis Guerra
      Eddie Rosario
      Jason Wheeler
      Miguel Sano
      Niko Goodrum
      Reynaldo Rodgriguez
      Sean Gilmartin
      Todd Van Steensel
      Tim Shibuya
      Wow. Going to be some tough roster decisions again.
    1. Mr. Brooks's Avatar
      Mr. Brooks -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=carew-001rod

      Click on the link. Apparently LEN and the Strib are wrong.

      Carew wasnt promoted from A ball (though it was the highest level he reached), he was promoted FROM instructional league.
    1. DocBauer's Avatar
      DocBauer -
      Was going to point out Eisenreich, which I had forgotten about. Was also thinking Puckett was straight from Visalia, forgot he had a little time at AAA first.

      I hate to repeat myself from another thread, but I guess I have to in an abridged version.

      Despite being a (former?) fan of Floriman with hopes, he is having perhaps the worst season I have ever seen. I doubt another team in baseball wouldn't have already DFA'ed him at this point, especially with injuries and the roster crunch. Escobar should have been left alone at SS and Romero should have received his first shot. Instead of messing with the entire left half of the infield, could have put a 3B at 3B, and hopefully gotten a little offense. And if you're going to bring up Polanco for a taste, even a brief one, can't he at least play a little bit? I mean, what's he going to do, play defense so much worse than Florimon that a hit, a walk, a productive out at least wouldn't compensate?

      And just a point, I don't put a lot of fearful value in regard to errors for a young SS simply because he's learning, working, playing on poorer quality fields, and might not always have the best fielding 1B receiving throws.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Brooks View Post
      Carew wasnt promoted from A ball (though it was the highest level he reached), he was promoted FROM instructional league.
      Rod Carew played his last official minor league game in 1966 for the Wilson Tobs, in the Class A Carolina League. On April 11, 1967, Carew made his debut with the Twins. That is a jump--in terms of playing baseball games--from A ball to the majors.
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