It was clear from the moment that the Twins announced the promotion of shortstop Jason Bartlett from Class AAA Rochester that Juan Castro's days as being a regular were over. Now, two days after Bartlett's promotion, Castro's time with the Twins is complete.
On Thursday, the Twins traded the 33-year-old Castro to Cincinnati for minor leaguer Brandon Roberts.
"We're trying to create some space for some of our players and I think it was the right thing to do," Twins General Manager Terry Ryan said. "It's just something that made sense."
While the trade wasn't completely surprising, Castro was still caught off guard.
"I understand the situation, but I was in love with Minnesota," said Castro, who was batting .231 with 14 RBI in 50 games for the Twins. "I like it here a lot, I met a lot of good friends and there are a lot of good guys on this team."
The trade to the National League -- where substitutions are more common because of the pitcher batting -- should help Castro get more playing time.
"The way my career has been, I fit more in the National League, being a utility player," Castro said.
That Castro ended up in Cincinnati is far from surprising. Reds General Manager Wayne Krivsky was previously Ryan's assistant, and he pushed for the Twins to sign Castro before the 2005 season.
In exchange for Castro, the Twins received a 21-year-old who has ascended to high Class A in less than a year of professional baseball. Roberts, 21, hit .267 with 15 RBI and 23 stolen bases in 60 games this season at Sarasota. He will be assigned to Class A Fort Myers.
Outfielder/designated hitter Ruben Sierra will fill Castro's spot on the Twins roster in time for tonight's game at Pittsburgh. Sierra played two games this week in a rehab assignment at Rochester.
Just a long single
Boston's David Ortiz thought he had hit a home run in the top of the sixth inning. So did everybody else in the Metrodome.
"It was way gone -- 450 feet," Twins center fielder Torii Hunter said.
One problem: A Metrodome speaker got in the way. Instead of hitting the portrait of Kirby Puckett hanging above the upper deck, Ortiz's blast hit one of the speakers hanging from the dome's roof and bounced to Hunter for a long single.
"There's some angels catching my stuff," Ortiz said afterwards. "That ball was supposed to hit Kirby. What can you do?"
While Chili Davis once hit the speaker closest to the first base line, it's unclear whether anyone had previously hit the speaker directly above the football press box. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire -- who has been with the team since 1991 -- said he had never seen that speaker hit. Others say Mo Vaughn once hit it.
"Somebody got cheated out of a ball out there," Gardenhire said.
Boston manager Terry Francona wasn't as amused.
"It's like playing putt-putt golf, you've got to go around the windmill," Francona said.
"This is Major League baseball. That's embarrassing."
Danny Valencia, the Twins' 19th-round draft pick from Miami (Fla.), will play this weekend in the College World Series.
Twins outfielder Shannon Stewart likely won't go on a rehab assignment for his foot until after the team's road trip to Pittsburgh and Houston.