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WARNE: The Twins Should Promote Nick Gordon

Brandon Warne



This is an excerpt from a story that originated at Zone Coverage. Please read it in its entirety here, and consider subscribing to support the site.


The Miguel Sano injury situation trudged through Day 18 on Tuesday without much of an update as the Minnesota Twins prepared to open a quick two-game series with the St. Louis Cardinals.


“(It was) more of the same today,” manager Paul Molitor said. “(He) ran the bases. Still, from my vantage point, we’re not seeing max effort, which we’re going to need to see. He’s swinging the bat fine. It’s just going to making sure he can do everything he needs to on a baseball field and play a position defensively.”


That pretty much falls in line with Molitor’s comments on Monday, where he said Sano was not “very close” to returning.


But whether that’s 7-to-10 days — or perhaps longer — the Twins have stomached a lack of offense without Sano for too long.


That’s not an indictment on Eduardo Escobar, the team’s erstwhile third baseman while Sano has been down. Coming into Tuesday’s game, Escobar is hitting a very Sano-like .274/.329/.548 with seven homers in 34 games.


That’s a 34-homer pace for 162 games — six more than Sano’s career-high of 28, set last season.


The issue has come at shortstop, as Escobar has slid over and left the spot open for Ehire Adrianza. Adrianza did a fine job as a utility player in 2017, but is clearly stretched as a regular. He’s hitting just .229/.295/.286 through 78 plate appearances this season, a little less than half the number he took last year (186) when he hit .265/.324/.383 and filled in capably all over the diamond defensively.


That’s not to say that Adrianza doesn’t have a spot on the 25-man roster of a winning club. He provided the Twins with a win of value — per Fangraphs’ WAR metric — last season. But if the idea was that Adrianza was only going to fill in briefly while Sano recuperated, it’s quickly becoming clear that’s no longer the case.


Sano’s roster spot was filled by 33-year-old journeyman Gregorio Petit, who prior to 2018 had cups of espresso with the A’s (2008-09), Astros (2014), Yankees (2015) and Angels (2016), but had only once played more than 40 games in any big league season. Even by virtue of a strong six-game stretch with the Twins where he’s hitting .429, he’s still just a career .255/.297/.355 hitter.


As a temporary move, adding him to the 40-man roster — and putting Ervin Santana on the 60-day DL as a corresponding transaction — was defensible. But now it seems like it’s time to take a broader look at the road ahead.


It’s time to promote infield prospect Nick Gordon.


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Likely won't move the needle


Also, it doesn't sound like he's going to be coming up anytime soon:




Straight from Levine.


On top prospect Nick Gordon:

The 22-year-old shortstop is hitting .350 with a .918 OPS with Double-A Chattanooga. He is second in the Southern League in hits (48), second in total bases (72) and fourth in batting average. Gordon was the Twins first-round pick (5th overall) in 2014.

Levine said he expects Gordon to play in Rochester at some point this season, but he hasn’t had enough Double-A at-bats yet.

“In terms of development, we have a plan going out of spring training to really give guys a chance to have momentum going into the season,” Levine said. “His bat is borderline Major League ready right now, he showed us that in spring training. It’s the defensive side of the game that we’ll continue to challenge him to develop on, it’s the base-running side of the game.”


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Agreed. Regardless of results this is a good time to get Gordon mlb at bats.  He is likely our starting second basement next year. He's probably not going to be good on defense, but it's not like he will be replacing an all star. Not to mention this will not affect his service time in any way.

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