Oswaldo Arcia’s haul from his first day in the majors: The ball from his first major league hit — and a plane ticket back to Class AAA Rochester.
Arcia, one of the Twins’ top prospects, went 1-for-3 at the plate and 0-for-1 in the field during the Twins’ 8-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. The Twins talked excitedly about getting a look at the attack-minded hitter as he replaced Wilkin Ramirez, who was away on paternity leave.
General Manager Terry Ryan, before the game, hinted that Arcia could stay longer than three days. But that was not the case, as Ramirez will return to the team Tuesday after being present for the birth of his daughter, Venice, in New York.
“Wilkin will be back [Tuesday] so we sent the kid back down, as hard as it will be for everybody involved,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “It’s fun to watch him walk up to the plate. He will get plenty of opportunities if he keeps doing what he’s doing in the minors.”
Arcia took a break from packing to speak with reporters with the help of translator Bobby Cuellar.
“I take away how they play the game here, watching people hit, watching people take pitches, how people look for their pitches and how good it feels and how good it looks, watching a game in the major leagues,” Arcia said.
The Twins didn’t mince words when talking about Arcia before the game. “I love the way he swings the bat,” Gardenhire said. “He’s on a mission with a bat in his hand and he just doesn’t believe anyone can get him out.”
Arcia certainly showed that in his first major league at-bat, when he laced a fastball from Joe Blanton into right for single. He advanced to second on an error by right fielder Josh Hamilton.
But he let a fly ball pop out of his glove in the seventh inning for a two-base error. He was scheduled to be the designated hitter on Monday but was moved to left field when Josh Willingham showed up at the park under the weather.
When asked what happened on the fly ball, Arcia grinned sheepishly and said in clear English, “I don’t know.”
Arcia is batting .414 with three homers, eight RBI and eight runs in nine games at Rochester. He is a career .316 hitter in the minors.
• Aaron Hicks was replaced by Darin Mastroianni in center field on Monday but entered the game as a defensive replacement in the eighth inning, walked, stole second, advanced to third on a wild pitch and scored on a single. Hicks is expected to be in the starting lineup on Tuesday. Gardenhire said hitting coach Tom Brunansky wants to work with the struggling rookie leadoff hitter, but Hicks might be moved elsewhere in the lineup at times.
• It was Jackie Robinson Day across baseball Monday, meaning every player in the majors wore the No. 42, but Gardenhire used Sunday to head to a local movie theater and watch “42,” the movie about Robinson’s path to the major leagues. Gardenhire said the audience applauded at the end of the movie.
• Righthander Tim Wood (shoulder) will begin a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday at Class A Fort Myers. If all goes well, he likely will move to Class AAA Rochester.
• Righthander Cole De Vries (forearm) played catch Monday and it went well.
• Righthander Samuel Deduno (groin muscle) will pitch in an extended spring training game Tuesday.