Update: The Twins put Miguel Sano on the DL today (5/1). Gregorio Petit was selected to join the 40 man roster and replace him on the 25 man roster. Dietrich Enns was DFA'd to make room for Petit. Given that the Twins are going with a fill in type player in Petit, I would assume that signifies a belief in Sano not being on the shelf for too long. Gordon would still make sense at some point in the not too distant future.
After yet another ineffective start for the Minnesota Twins, Phil Hughes was guaranteed nothing by the front office and Paul Molitor. His scheduled start was listed as TBD on the press releases, and eventually the news came out that he'd been demoted to the bullpen. Top pitching prospect Fernando Romero is on his way to the big leagues and will have a chance to stick in the major league rotation. With Miguel Sano being hampered by a hamstring injury, that may not be the only top prospect making a debut for Minnesota.
On Monday night when the Twins played the Toronto Blue Jays, Paul Molitor's bench included just two available options: Ryan LaMarre and Jason Castro. Given that neither of them are reliable bats at the current juncture, that's a pretty underwhelming set of reserves for a Twins club that badly needs to turn things around. With the promotion of Romero, I opined on Twitter that it signified the front office was echoing the statements of many fans. This level of performance is unexpected, and unacceptable. Instead of looking for band aids to try and get by, they were going to throw out their biggest pieces. That suggests to me that Stephen Gonsalves could soon be a rotation option, and Tyler Jay may not be far behind in relief. For the lineup though, there's one name that now jumps off the page.
Minnesota's 40 man roster has been exhausted when it comes to hitters. The only player currently available and not with the big league club is Jake Cave. The outfielder, acquired from the New York Yankees this spring, is slashing .188/.322/.261 at Triple-A Rochester through his first 19 games. With Zack Granite on the disabled list, Derek Falvey may be forced into another aggressive move.
It's probably time to wonder if top prospect Nick Gordon isn't ready for the big leagues.
Here's the thing, it makes no sense for Gordon to come up and sit. There's also little reason to put him on the 40 man roster and start his clock if the stint at the highest level is going to be a matter of days. In regards to both of those concerns however, there's a clear path as to how things could work out.
First and foremost, the playing time should be there. Eduardo Escobar is locked in as an everyday player right now. The utility man has filled in for Sano admirably, and is arguably the Twins best offensive threat going. Gordon, while not an ideal fit at shortstop, could immediately take over for Ehire Adrianza. The slick fielding Venezuelan would be a loss with his glove, but he's posted a .590 OPS and has never been a bat to rely on. Gordon would be making a big jump from Double-A Chattanooga, but his current .898 OPS in 23 games suggests he may be better than the level anyways.
Secondly, there's no guarantee that Miguel Sano is going to simply need 10 days to get his leg back to full health. Hamstring pulls are tricky, and rushing them back only leads to further aggravation. The reality is that even with the ability to backdate his DL stint to April 27, the Twins could be without their starting third basemen for a matter of weeks. When he returns, slotting him into a DH role while Escobar is going hot would continue to make room for Gordon to receive regular playing time.
There's a lot to digest here, and in Gordon, we're talking about a 22 year old kid with some question marks remaining in regards to his prospect status. That being said, his fielding deficiencies probably aren't going away, and that bat has continued to profile well. After a strong start to the 2017 season, he ended up with a .749 OPS. The .898 mark this year is solid, and that's bolstered by a .934 OPS over his last 16 games. Assumed the potential replacement for Brian Dozier, it's hardly a bad idea to get a look and see if he can't provide a jolt right now.
We could have our answer sooner rather than later, but if the Twins want a spark and another aggressive move, the kid with the bloodlines should be the place to turn.