Busy Florimon gets a breather

  • Article by: JOE CHRISTENSEN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 18, 2012 - 11:34 PM

Florimon, 25, has enough talent to keep the team's starting shortstop job next year, but he needs to make the routine plays.

CLEVELAND - Twins manager Ron Gardenhire sat shortstop Pedro Florimon on Tuesday for only the second time since the rookie arrived from Class AAA Rochester on Aug. 17.

"He's been playing a whole bunch of baseball," Gardenhire said. "He looked a little gassed the other day. He was sitting at his locker, and I know he had a tough time, and he's a little frustrated. This gives him a little bit of time to take a deep breath and gather himself."

Florimon committed his sixth error in 29 games Sunday and also failed to advance a runner from second base in a key situation. The switch hitter entered Tuesday's 6-5 victory over the Indians as a defensive replacement and went 1-for-2, driving in a necessary insurance run in the 12th inning with a single. He's batting .242 with a .294 on-base percentage.

Florimon, 25, has enough talent to keep the team's starting shortstop job next year, but he needs to make the routine plays. He batted .249 with a .321 OBP in seven minor-league seasons, so it's hard to expect much more offensively. Still, players in his situation need to execute the fundamentals.

After this breather, his evaluation continues.

"He's not going to make the team this year; he'll do that in spring training," Gardenhire said. "But it's nice to see what we have coming in, and he can definitely raise your eyebrows this time of year."

Cedar Rapids beckons

The Twins are moving their Class A Midwest League affiliation from Beloit, Wis., to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, with a news conference to announce the new four-year agreement scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Wednesday.

"We went there [to Cedar Rapids] and visited the facilities and met with their board of directors [Monday]," Twins minor league director Jim Rantz said. "We haven't signed anything yet, but there's probably going to be an announcement at 1:30."

After spending eight years in Beloit, the Twins were ready for the change. Cedar Rapids had been home to the Angels' Midwest League affiliate for 20 years, but now there's an opening. It's about one hour closer to the Twin Cities and has a much nicer ballpark.

"The stadium is 10 years old and seats 5,500; Beloit is still trying to get a stadium," Rantz said. "Cedar Rapids is another nice location for us geographically, and there are a number of Twins fans down that way."

Morneau nominated

Justin Morneau was named the Twins finalist for this year's Roberto Clemente award, which is given each year to the major league player who best exemplifies the sport through sportsmanship, community involvement and contributions to his team.

"It's pretty cool," said Morneau, who was also the Twins finalist in 2010. "There are a lot of people doing a lot of good things in the game, and a lot of guys in this clubhouse. It's always an honor to have your name mentioned in the same sentence as Clemente, with all the things that he did. I've read up on his life and all the things he did; it's pretty amazing."

Besides numerous visits to hospitals that aren't publicized, Morneau and his wife, Krista, hold an annual Casino Night with proceeds benefitting Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and he has donated $100 per RBI since 2007 to a program that renovates baseball fields across the Midwest.

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