CHICAGO — Outfielder Darin Mastroianni and catcher Juan Centeno will join the Twins for tonight’s game against the White Sox, and Ervin Santana has been activated from the disabled list as the Twins conducted a roster shakeup in hopes of halting their 8-20 slide.
Catcher John Ryan Murphy, suffering through a 3-for-40 (.075) start to the season, has been optioned to Class AAA Rochester, the team announced Friday, and relief pitchers J.R. Graham and Ryan O’Rourke have been designated for assignment to make room.
For the 30-year-old Mastroianni, who will wear No. 21, the move is a homecoming of sorts. He makes the Twin Cities his offseason home, and appeared in 114 games for the Twins from 2012-14, but was lost on waivers two years ago. He is a career .212 hitter in the major leagues, and was hitting .208 so far this season at Rochester.
Centeno, 26, appeared in 24 major-league games with the Mets in 2013-14 and the Brewers in 2015, and is 10-for-61 (.164). Signed as a minor-league free agent last winter, Centeno, who will wear No. 37, was batting .245 for the Red Wings in 15 games, and has thrown out four of 13 potential base stealers.
Santana, bothered by back spasms after a 6-5 loss in Milwaukee on April 19, will start Saturday’s game against White Sox ace Chris Sale. He is 0-1 with a 3.15 ERA in four starts.
By designating the relief pitchers for assignment, the Twins have 10 days to trade them, release them or outright them to the minors, but they must pass through waivers before they can be assigned back to Rochester.
Graham was a Rule 5 pick in December 2014, plucked out of the Braves’ minor-league system and kept on the Twins’ roster all season. He posted a 4.95 ERA in 39 games last year, but was optioned to Rochester during spring training this year. Recalled earlier this week, the hard-throwing righthander allowed two runs and recorded five outs in Wednesday’s 16-4 loss in Houston.
O’Rourke has posted matching 6.14 ERAs for the past two seasons, in 28 games late last season and eight games this year, but has had success against left-handers. He has held major-league lefthanders to a .149 average in 58 plate appearances, and Class AAA left-handers were batting .222 against him.