Twins add Dominican infielder

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 3, 2012 - 8:08 AM

The Twins showed their continued commitment to the international market Monday, landing infielder Amaurys Minier out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4 million.

The Twins showed their continued commitment to the international market Monday, landing infielder Amaurys Minier out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4 million.

Photo: Mike Janes, Associated Press

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DETROIT - Three years after signing Dominican power- hitting prospect Miguel Sano for $3.15 million, the Twins showed their continued commitment to the international market Monday, landing infielder Amaurys Minier out of the Dominican Republic for $1.4 million.

Minier is a switch-hitting shortstop who could wind up moving to third base, like Sano, and projects as another power hitter.

Under baseball's new collective bargaining agreement, teams are penalized if they spend more than $2.9 million per year on international signings, and the Twins are working on other players as well.

Mike Radcliff, the team's vice president of player personnel, gave scout Fred Guerrero credit for securing Minier.

"This is one we're kind of pumped about," Radcliff said. "There was heavy competition up until the end. There were other clubs in the house."

Gardenhire wins No. 900

Monday's 6-4 victory over the Tigers was the 900th victory of manager Ron Gardenhire's career. He ranks second on the team's all-time list behind Tom Kelly (1,140).

"I've had really good baseball players and a great coaching staff," Gardenhire said. "I just get on the surfboard and ride it with them. ... It starts at the top, with ownership, for giving me this chance, and [General Managers] Terry Ryan and Billy Smith.

"It's longevity. I've been able to chuck and duck long enough to get close to 900. Hopefully I can chuck and duck a little bit longer and win a World Series here."

Tigers manager Jim Leyland never misses an opportunity to praise Gardenhire.

"A couple years ago, I said that he was the best manager in the league, and I haven't seen anything to change that opinion," said Leyland, who entered Monday leading all active managers with 1,627 victories. "I think he does a terrific job."

Relief help coming?

Gardenhire hinted late Monday that the Twins might need some bullpen reinforcements soon. Jared Burton was unavailable to pitch after throwing the previous two games.

"He says he'll be ready [Tuesday], but he hasn't pitched in three years this late into the season," Gardenhire said. "And we're going to protect him because he's really been good for us."

Talking about this bullpen's overall workload, Gardenhire added, "We're getting toward the All-Star break, and we're already talking about what to do now. We might have to bring two pitchers up to get through this because we've been using guys a lot."

Etc.

 After Monday's game, the Tigers announced a pitching change for Tuesday. Max Scherzer has a hamstring issue, so Duane Below will start in his place. Scherzer is 2-1 with a 2.77 ERA in his past four starts. Below, who has a 2.70 ERA in 21 relief appearances, threw 41 pitches Wednesday in his most recent outing.

• P.J. Walters (right shoulder inflammation) will make another rehab start for Class AAA Rochester on Friday. He was shaky early in Sunday's outing for Rochester but finished strong, allowing three runs in four innings.

 Matt Capps (right shoulder inflammation) hopes to do a one-inning rehab stint for Class A Fort Myers next Tuesday or Wednesday and return from the disabled list on July 13, the first day after the All-Star break.

Star Tribune staff writer La Velle E. Neal III contributed to this report.

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