NEW YORK – Chris Parmelee realized he was in a slump. But he didn’t see this coming.
“I guess [they thought] I haven’t been comfortable at the plate. They want me to go down” and work on his approach, the Twins outfielder said after being told he has been sent back to Class AAA Rochester, along with outfielder Oswaldo Arcia and infielder Eduardo Escobar. “I personally feel comfortable at the plate. I’ve been missing some balls I should be hitting.”
Shortstop Doug Bernier and catcher Chris Herrmann will join the Twins on Friday, along with a third player still to be announced, believed to be Chris Colabello.
“We’ve given it a little bit of time here,” manager Ron Gardenhire said. “We’ve kind of waited it out with [Aaron Hicks] — we’re still waiting for him to click, and he’s doing a lot better. But we’re going to make a few moves.”
Arcia is in the most obvious slump; the 22-year-old is batting .159 in July and has struck out in his last seven at-bats and 11 of his last 13. “As the old saying goes: Right now, he can’t hit water falling out of a boat,” Gardenhire said. “He needs some swings. He’s missing a lot of pitches.”
Same for Parmelee, who “just needs to go swing,” Gardenhire said. “Right now, he’s talking himself into things, running over and dissecting every swing, every pitch. … You can’t play that way. He needs to go sit down and relax.” And Escobar, batting .214 in 55 games, is too young to play so infrequently, the manager added, so the Twins want him to get regular at-bats at Rochester.
Parmelee said he was “kind of” shocked to get the news, but was assured that “I can go down there, get my work done, get some at-bats in [and] get back up as soon as possible. That’s my main goal.”
Bernier is a 33-year-old journeyman who has reached the big leagues before, going 0-for-4 in a two-game stint with Colorado in 2008. He’s hit .295 with 41 RBI in Rochester since signing as a minor league free agent last winter.
“He’s earned his way up here,” Gardenhire said. His contract will be selected and added to the 40-man roster, filling a vacancy created when P.J. Walters was designated for assignment earlier this month.
Herrmann, 25, will be joining the Twins for the second time this season; he went 6-for-13 in seven games in May and June, with a home run, though he’s hitting just .230 with two homers at Rochester.
If Colabello, 29, is the third addition after his All-Star experience, the Twins will be adding a .356 hitter at Class AAA, with 24 home runs and 75 RBI. He also has spent a couple of brief stints with the Twins this season, going 2-for-16 in seven games.
Love on the rocks?
Baseball contracts are like wedding contracts, Justin Morneau figures. “And a happy marriage usually involves two parties,” he said.
Right now, he’s the only party interested in renewing his marriage with the Twins, meaning “it’ll be tough to get something done” to prevent him from becoming a free agent in November.
Morneau said he had his agent approached the Twins last week about a contract extension, “just to see if there was interest there,” he said. “They said they want to see what happens at the trade deadline first. They haven’t ruled it out, but as of right now, it’s not something we’re discussing.”
His six-year, $80 million contract, which pays him $14 million this year, expires after the season. If he is still with the Twins once the trade deadline passes in two weeks, it will be difficult, Morneau said, to pass up a chance to test the open market.
“If you get within two months of becoming a free agent for the first time — I don’t want to speculate, but it would be hard to not want to see” what other teams might offer, he said. “I’m not ruling anything out. But there has to be desire for them to have me here, and I have to feel I’m the right fit here.”