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September Call Ups from Rochester

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The Twins put three minor league teams in the playoffs and have seen them all falter. Cedar Rapids and Fort Myers both were defeated 2-0 and Rochester trails 2-1 in a best of five series. The Red Wings will need to win two straight at Pawtucket to advance in the International League playoffs.

When the Red Wings are eliminated, the Twins will call up a few of their players. Depending on injuries, that number could be as low as three or as high as five or six. My guess is that the Twins will recall only four guys--relief pitcher Michael Tonkin, 1B/RF Chris Parmelee, IF Eduardo Escobar and starting pitcher Scott Diamond. If a fifth player is recalled, I would guess that it would be Cole De Vries. All of these guys have seen time with the Twins and none profile as potential All-Stars. Notable in not being called up would be the Twins Opening Day center fielder Aaron Hicks.

I have stated that Parmelee's role has changed from a guy given a job with a chance to establish himself to a guy who has to win a job. Parmelee could have a chance to win an outfield job or first base next year, but more likely will be competing to be a bench bat to start the year. Chris just hasn't hit enough to merit consideration to start at either first base or right field. He would figure to get quite a few at-bats upon his recall and the hope would be that some solid hitting would build his confidence heading into 2014.

Escobar has had a good stint in Rochester. He hit .307 with an .880 OPS in nearly 200 plate appearances. He is regarded as a fine three position defender and should be a favorite to make the Twins as a utility infielder. If any of the three incumbent starters falter or are injured Escobar would be the #1 candidate to take their role. Being a switch hitter and seeing the platoon splits of two Twins' infield starters, Escobar could be in line for considerable playing time next year, whether or not someone struggles or is injured. Escobar has logged a lot of major league bench time in the last two years and his time in Rochester may have helped his development more than more pine time in Minnesota. It will be interesting to see how much he plays and whether he can continue to hit upon returning to the majors.

Tonkin had a very good season. He started in New Britain and was a mid-season callup to the Red Wings. He had two appearances with the Twins, one impressive, one not so much in a blowout. Tonkin features a big fastball and a power slider IIRC. On a team with few power pitchers, the Twins would love to see him thrive for them next year. Tonkin seems to have struggled in his last couple weeks. I am not sure what to expect from him and if the team decided he's thrown enough, I guess he might not be recalled at all.

I'm a Diamond fan. He went down to Rochester and after a rocky first appearance has pitched very well. Diamond is in the mix for a starting job in 2014 and a couple of good starts would help his confidence heading toward the new year. Diamond will start the Red Wings playoff game tonight, so how he throws would have a direct bearing on when and if he is recalled soon. Diamond's numbers at Rochester: 4-0 record, 33 H in 41 IP, 9 BB and 19 K and a 2.41 ERA.

De Vries is my sneaky candidate for recall. He started 2013 on the Twins' DL after probably winning a spot in the rotation, had a couple setbacks, performed poorly, but since rehabbing he has been very effective. De Vries was a pretty effective major league pitcher in 2012. He hasn't been mentioned much as a candidate for the 2014 rotation, but a few good starts might open some eyes going forward.

Comments

  1. beckmt's Avatar
    Maybe of this group, 1 or 2 make the Twins next year. More than that would be an issue. I am guessing that Tonkin and Diamond have the best chances. Parmelle has lost his chance to make a statement and with Mauer probably playing first base 50% or more next year, do not see a role for him.
  2. Brandon's Avatar
    I wonder if Parmelee and Colabello would make a good platoon at either 1b or RF next year.
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