Not the most interesting game Saturday, but there was still plenty to talk about. Here are a few things:
MAKING ROOM: The big news of the day, of course, was the Twins' surprise signing of Kendrys Morales, who figures to become the everyday designated hitter once he clears his physical exam and shows he's ready to play. The Twins' roster move will be interesting, first to make room on the 40-man -- though Mike Pelfrey, whose elbow problems seem more serious than expected, could be moved to the 60-man disabled list -- and then on the 25-man roster.
If Morales is sent to play some minor-league games to get up to speed, the Twins can put off any decision about whose place he takes. A lot can happen in a week, after all. But if he's activated right away, the Twins figure to choose between sending Chris Parmelee back to Rochester or giving Jason Kubel his release. Neither has been hitting lately; Kubel hasn't had an extra-base hit since April, and Parmelee is at .172 for the season.
Another player impacted by the signing: Chris Colabello, who was sent to Rochester two weeks ago. (By the way: Colabello is still second on the team in RBIs!) His chances of returning anytime soon probably were remote, given that he's hitting .171 at Rochester. But even if he gets hot again, Morales and Mauer are now blocking his positions. Hard to believe things changed for him so quickly.
(Mentioning Pelfrey reminds me of the conspiracy theory I heard bounced around today: That agent Scott Boras steered Morales toward Minnesota, when nobody expected him to end up here, as a sort-of makeup for the Twins' giving Pelfrey, another Boras client, a two-year contract that doesn't look so good at the moment. Interesting theory, but unlikely. Agents don't work that way.)
BAD MONTH, BAD YEAR: Don't know if you've heard that Joe Mauer is having a tough year so far, but it continued Saturday. The six-time All-Star went 0-for-4 before being given the last two innings off; he's now batting .206 with 15 strikeouts and one RBI over the past couple of weeks, and has had more than one hit just once in that time. For the season, Mauer is now at .264, which is startling. It's the lowest average he's ever had after more than 200 at-bats, and only the second time his average has ever dipped that low in June.
WONDER IF THEY'LL SIGN HIM: Twins coaches were celebrating after the game, and not just over the win. As the game ended, the Twins used their 33rd-round pick to select Trey Vavra, an infielder at Florida Southern and the 22-year-old son of the Twins' third-base coach. "It's unbelievable, it really it," Joe Vavra said. Watching baseball drafts over the years, "you feel for parents, and all of a sudden, it's you."
Actually, it's the second time in three seasons Vavra's son has joined his organization. Tanner Vavra was selected in the 30th round two summers ago, and is now batting .255 as a second baseman for Class A Cedar Rapids.
Vavra believed some team would draft Trey, who was at Target Field last week "rattling the bleachers" with batting-practice baseballs, but he didn't know it would be his own, once again. When the Twins' game ended, "I went to my computer to see what round they were in ... and all of a sudden, Trey's name popped up," Vavra said. "I was like, 'Wow!' "
He called his son to congratulate him, but couldn't get through. "He didn't answer. He's a company guy immediately -- he was on the phone with the twins people," Vavra laughed. "He ignored me."