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WARNE NOTEBOOK: Arcia’s Replacement; Buxton Heating Up; Affiliate Reports


Brandon Warne

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The Minnesota Twins promoted well-regarded prospect Eddie Rosario from Triple-A Rochester on Monday. Rosario wasn’t in uniform in time to start the game, and ultimately didn’t get in as the Twins eked out a close 8-7 win.

 

Rosario, a two-time top-100 prospect according to Baseball Prospectus, was hitting just .242/.280/.370 at Rochester, leaving some to question why Aaron Hicks didn’t get the call instead due to his superior statistics. Manager Paul Molitor suggested it was not necessarily a long-term solution, which might have in turn led to a more permanent option being selected from the Red Wings. “He’s gonna get a chance to play in the short term,” Molitor noted.

 

 

The move that corresponded with Rosario’s promotion was putting outfielder Oswaldo Arcia on the disabled list with a right hip flexor strain. The injury isn’t entirely dissimilar from what forced Phil Hughes from his previous start, but perhaps just a bit more severe. Arcia said he first felt it when fielding a ball in the outfield and making a throw on Sunday, and it again seized up on him when he poked a single in a later at-bat. “When I tried to run hard, oh!” he colorfully quipped while talking to reporters in the clubhouse Monday afternoon. Arcia moved about with a considerable limp, and took a bit of ribbing from the team’s special assistant Tony Oliva, who is part of the uniformed personnel before games, and is no stranger to lower body injuries.

Terry Ryan said he doesn’t expect an extended stay on the disabled list for Arcia. “I would hope after 15 days he’d be plenty ready to go,” Ryan said. “I don’t think anybody in there medical-wise is all that worried it’ll be one of those longstanding deals.” Arcia intimated to reporters before the game that he figured he’d be good to go in seven-to-10 days.

 

 

Also in the discussion for call-ups in Arcia’s stead were Hicks (.289/.375/.494), Josmil Pinto (.299/.382/.403) and even Eric Fryer, who has been quite good (15-for-27 to start the season) in limited time splitting reps behind the plate in Rochester with Pinto. Ryan’s reasoning for possibly bringing up a catcher was that it would allow Chris Herrmann the flexibility to play in the outfield as well, but the team ultimately opted against it because both Rosario and Hicks offered the added flexibility of being able to handle center field. In that sense, it really seems as though the final decision came down to Rosario v. Hicks, with the Twins deciding they wanted to get a quick look at Rosario in his first cup of coffee in the big leagues.

“This will be an opportunity to get his feet wet up here and see what it’s all about,” Ryan said of Rosario. “We’ll see how he responds and see what we’ve got.” Both Ryan and Molitor were complimentary of Hicks and Pinto as well, suggesting that this was by no means an easy decision. “Aaron’s doing fine,” Molitor said. “I’ve heard some really good things about him. His day could come soon as well.” Ryan added, “If this was a lockdown decision, you guys wouldn’t even be asking. But it wasn’t, we just haven’t had any outfielders go down recently.”

 

 

OLD FRIEND UPDATE

 

Sam Fuld pinch ran for the A’s in the ninth inning after starting the game on the bench and is hitting just .216/.278/.341 in the early going while playing almost exclusively in center field. The plan was for Fuld and Craig Gentry to split time out there, but with Coco Crisp shelved with an elbow injury to start the season — he’s currently on a rehab assignment — both players have seen a good chunk of time with Gentry mostly in left and Rule 5 player Mark Canha mixing in as well.

Catcher Drew Butera was designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Angels after hitting just .190/.190/.190 in 21 plate appearances spanning 10 games. The 31-year-old Butera will have the option of refusing the assignment to the minor leagues should it come to that, but for now he’s been passed over by Carlos Perez as the primary backup to starting catcher Chris Iannetta.

 

 

TRIVIA

 

Who did Joe Mauer hit his first career home run off?

 

 

AROUND THE AFFILIATES

 

Rochester (14-9): Idle. Alex Meyer went seven innings, allowing just three earned runs with six strikeouts and four walks in Sunday’s win over Norfolk. Old friend Chris Parmelee (0-for-3, two walks) batted third for the Tides.

 

Chattanooga (13-11): Byron Buxton continued his red-hot tear with a two-run walkoff home run in the bottom of the ninth to give the Lookouts a 2-0 win over Jacksonville. Zack Jones had pitched a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts and a pair of hits and ultimately got the win. Buxton’s home run and an earlier single from Sano accounted for all of the Lookouts’ hits for the day.

 

Fort Myers (9-16): The Miracle’s woes continued, as they were held to just five hits as Matt Benedict, Isaac Sanchez and Brett McKinney of Bradenton held Fort Myers scoreless. Recently-promoted outfielder Zach Granite was the only Miracle player with more than one hit (2-for-4).

 

Cedar Rapids (14-11): The Kernels scored the game’s final six runs en route to a 9-3 win over homestanding Wisconsin. The Kernels pounded out five doubles and a triple, with T.J. White (3-for-4) and Max Murphy (2-for-4) leading the way. Jared Wilson tossed six strong innings with seven strikeouts and three earned runs, and Zach Tillery took it the rest of the way, fanning four with just one hit allowed over the final three frames.

 

 

Speaking of Buxton — who was not in consideration for the roster opening vacated by Arcia, Ryan and Molitor both noted on Monday — it’s worth noting that this is a young man who is on an absolute tear. This is a guy who was hitting exactly his listed weight (.190) after play on April 26. But from April 27 to May 3 — so not yet including Monday’s heroics — Buxton hit .483/.543/.828 with two doubles and four triples over that seven-game span. That brought his season line up to .283/.357/.506, which is much more Buxton-like and could signify that the rust accrued over a mostly-lost 2014 season is dissipating. The Twins won’t tip their hand on plans for the uber-talented youngster, but reading between the lines, the club won’t wait a second longer than necessary once he is deemed ready.

 

 

BY THE NUMBERS

 

0 – Number of walks issued by Glen Perkins in 12 innings of work so far this season.

0 – Also the number of walks drawn by shortstop Danny Santana before he coaxed a four-pitch walk in the eighth. Santana was the last of 180 ‘qualified’ players in the big leagues to draw a walk this season. Santana and Jordan Schafer were the only two Twins to draw walks on the night; they came into the game with two walks combined over 150 plate appearances.

0 – Number of stolen bases for Jordan Schafer in three attempts.

0 – Number of teams striking out fewer batters than the Twins pitching staff, which entered play Monday at 5.3. The next worst — Texas — is still a full strikeout better at 6.4.

0 – Similarly, no teams came into Monday with a worse xFIP than the Twins at 4.60. In short, some numbers don’t believe the Twins’ team ERA of 4.03 — 19th league wide — is sustainable. Only time will tell.

 

 

TRIVIA ANSWER

 

Joe Mauer homered off Detroit reliever Esteban Yan on June 6, 2004 — a three-run homer that gave the Twins the lead in the bottom of the eighth in an eventual 6-5 win.

 

This post originated at Cold Omaha here, please click through to give us a read there as well.

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