Twins find themselves with outfield surplus

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: April 18, 2013 - 8:03 AM

Days off and multi-position players will give Twins options.

hide

The Twins faced the Los Angeles Angels Monday night at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minn. The newest Twin, Oswaldo Arcia, jogged towards the dugout after making his major league debut in left field in the first inning. ]

 

One day after he found himself so short of outfielders, he had to send an infielder to left field, Ron Gardenhire found himself confronting an unexpected problem: too many outfielders.

That’s because, with Darin Mastroianni on the disabled list for three weeks because of a stress reaction in his left ankle, 21-year-old Oswaldo Arcia returned to the Twins on Wednesday morning, less than 36 hours after he left. And while he will fill Mastroianni’s roster spot, Gardenhire doesn’t want him to fill Mastroianni’s part-time utility role.

“We’re going to get him as many games as we can,” Gardenhire said when Arcia was recalled from Class AAA Rochester, because it makes little sense to staple a young hitter to the bench when he needs at-bats to learn.

Trouble is, Josh Willingham plays every day in left field, and Chris Parmelee has started 11 of the Twins’ 13 games in right. Aaron Hicks is batting only .044 in center field, but Arcia has played only four games in center the past two seasons. “I like Arcia in the corners,” Gardenhire said.

So how do you give all four regular playing time?

“People are going to need days off. You’re going to have to give guys some breaks,” Gardenhire said. “Willingham’s going to have his days [off]. Parmelee can use a day here. There’s [designated hitter]. We’ll just figure it out. It’s never a bad problem to have enough good hitters, and [Arcia] is a good hitter.”

Arcia was in Gardenhire’s lineup Wednesday before the series finale with the Angels was rained out, batting seventh and playing right field in place of Parmelee, who is 1-for-11 in his past three games. The Venezuelan outfielder, rated among the Twins’ top hitting prospects, could also take Ryan Doumit’s place as designated hitter every so often, as Gardenhire pointed out, or play right on a day when Parmelee moves to first base to give Justin Morneau a day off.

“We’ll find playing time,” Gardenhire vowed. “We’ve got a lot of options.”

Mastroianni’s injury — it’s an aggravation of the bruised shin he suffered in spring training, and will require him to wear a walking boot for 10-14 days, then do at least a week of rehab — means the Twins have far fewer options in center field. For one thing, they don’t have a natural backup at the position; Gardenhire said he would use Wilkin Ramirez in center if necessary, though he, too, has played there only four times in the past two seasons, or infielder Eduardo Escobar, who played left when Ramirez left the game because of a back bruise Tuesday.

The situation seems to be a reprieve for Hicks, who has only two hits in 45 at-bats this season and was removed from the leadoff spot Tuesday. Any thought of demoting him to Class AAA likely evaporated when Mastroianni went down. With Joe Benson batting .171 at Rochester and Clete Thomas not on the 40-man roster, the Twins have little choice but to stick with Hicks and hope his performance at the plate improves.

Or do they?

“If we had those decisions to make [about sending him down], maybe we might not be looking at some other options,” assistant general manager Rob Antony said Wednesday.

Antony didn’t elaborate on those options, but the Rangers put outfielder Julio Borbon, a career .283 hitter, on waivers earlier in the day, and the Twins, by virtue of their 66-96 record a year ago, are fourth in line behind the Astros, Cubs and Rockies if they want to claim him by noon Friday. Of course, if the Twins coveted Borbon, they could have worked out a trade with Texas for him.

And Antony said the Twins still have confidence in their 23-year-old rookie. “This guy is a big part of what we’re trying to do in our future. We want to try to do everything right by the kid,” Antony said, “and so we’re going to give the kid every opportunity to get out of this.”

It’s coming soon, Hicks said confidently. “I’ve been playing good defense, scoring some runs, had my first stolen base. As long as I’m doing that, I feel like I’m helping the team,” he said. “It’s a process. It’s only a matter of time until I get back to the leadoff spot.”





 

  • related content

  • Makeup games pose problems in MLB schedules

    Thursday April 18, 2013

    Baseball’s new schedule, which includes interleague games all season long, makes postponements more difficult, because only division foes return to a city more than once.

  • With snow on the way, Angels left Target Field in a hurry

    Wednesday April 17, 2013

    Twins must negotiate an acceptable date to make up the rainout

  • Twins' Swarzak just misses rare four-inning save

    Thursday April 18, 2013

    The reliever was two outs away from a four-inning save.

  • Twins statistics

    Monday September 23, 2013

  • The return of Oswaldo Arcia, above, poses a pleasant problem for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire: how to get Arcia enough at-bats so the 21-year-old’s progress isn’t stunted while not overly disrupting his usual starting outfield.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Grade the Gophers in their season opener

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close