There are 135 players to choose from on the All-Star ballot from the American League alone. But the AL co-leader in RBI is not among them.
“You can write him in, can’t you?” Brian Dozier asked about Twins teammate Chris Colabello, whose team-record 27 RBI in April rank as one of the biggest shocks of the season’s first month. “That’s probably tougher to make it, but he deserves it.”
Colabello wasn’t snubbed, overlooked or disrespected by being passed over. He just wasn’t expected to be a starter coming out of spring training, assistant GM Rob Antony said.
“We were looking at Colabello as maybe a platoon player, or a bat off the bench,” said Antony, who turned in the Twins’ expected lineup to the league office for ballot consideration just before Opening Day. “It’s not disrespect — it’s a tremendous credit to him that he’s seized the opportunity to get some at-bats and produced.”
Same thing happened to Dozier last year, when Jamey Carroll made the ballot, but Dozier won the job. “It’s cool to make [the ballot] now,” he said. “It means I’m a starter, I’m established. And to be [considered] for the All-Star Game, that’s really neat.”
Antony said he approached Colabello during the Twins’ road trip to explain, “When the ballot comes out, you’re not on it.’ … He looked at me like, ‘Yeah?’ He [said], ‘Believe me, I’m just enjoying what’s going on.’ ”
Doing his part
Umpires approached Twins manager Ron Gardenhire during the season’s first few weeks and asked him to help lobby to overturn the catch-and-transfer rule, which happened Friday.
“I talked to plenty of umpires saying they really hope they change that rule,” Gardenhire said of the new interpretation of a catch — that no out was recorded until the player successfully transferred the ball from his glove to his hand. After several controversies over the rule, MLB reconsidered.
“[Umpires] had asked me to please help in this situation, because that’s almost impossible for them to call,” Gardenhire said. “And common sense has to come into play. ... They said I had tenure.”
Arcia to begin rehab
Antony leaves Saturday to watch Class AAA Rochester for a week, and he will take Oswaldo Arcia with him. Arcia took batting practice and worked out on the field Friday, and reported no lingering pain in his right wrist. He will begin a rehab stint in hopes of being activated in a week or so.
“It’s going to be a tough one for me, trying to figure out lineups,” Gardenhire said of Arcia’s return. “But we’ll do it. Something always seems to happen. You can’t have enough good players, so we’ll mix it up here.”
• Outfielder Byron Buxton, the Twins’ top prospect, will play three innings in an extended spring training game Saturday in Fort Myers, Fla., his first step back from an injury he suffered by diving for a fly ball March 16.
• Josh Willingham still feels soreness in his left wrist, so a rehab stint for the veteran slugger isn’t likely until sometime next week.
“It’s down to a little bit of nothing, but you’ve still got to get that [soreness] out of there because he holds the knob of the bat right on that spot,” Gardenhire said.
• General Manager Terry Ryan completed his six-week course of radiation treatments Wednesday and is recovering at home, Antony said. Ryan, who had surgery to remove squamous-cell cancer from his neck in February, hopes to feel well enough to return to Target Field this weekend.