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

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 115 FINAL
Orlando 100
New York 82 FINAL
Indiana 103
Denver 69 FINAL
Memphis 99
Chicago 118 FINAL
LA Lakers 123
Montreal 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 0
Winnipeg 2 FINAL
Philadelphia 5
Boston 5 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
Arizona 3 FINAL
Toronto 1
Dallas 6 FINAL
Ottawa 3
Detroit 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 5
Columbus 2 FINAL
Florida 3
Nashville 4 FINAL(SO)
St. Louis 5
Minnesota 1 FINAL
Calgary 0
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Edmonton 3
Anaheim 3 FINAL
San Jose 6
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 71 FINAL
Rutgers 51
Boston Univ 67 FINAL
Army 71
Fla Atlantic 61 FINAL
Charlotte 86
Youngstown St 87 FINAL
Detroit 93
East Tenn St 55 FINAL
Furman 59
Saint Louis 60 FINAL
George Mason 68
USC Upstate 78 FINAL
Jacksonville 65
High Point 72 FINAL
Liberty 53
Central Conn St 55 FINAL
Long Island 67
Western Ky 56 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 69
Dayton 64 FINAL
Massachusetts 66
Chattanooga 72 FINAL
Mercer 75
Wofford 58 FINAL
UNC Greensboro 42
Maryland 56 FINAL
Ohio State 80
FIU 56 FINAL
Old Dominion 71
Fair-Dickinson 65 FINAL
Robert Morris 87
Mount St Marys 67 FINAL
St Francis-NY 73
Bryant 68 FINAL
St Francis-PA 75
Northern Ky 75 FINAL
Stetson 85
Coll of Charleston 70 FINAL
Towson 74
Western Carolina 85 FINAL
Va Military 70
Sacred Heart 64 FINAL
Wagner 75
Lipscomb 62 FINAL
Fla Gulf Coast 78
Kennesaw St 67 FINAL
North Florida 86
Appalachian St 46 FINAL
Ga Southern 83
Holy Cross 54 FINAL
Loyola-Maryland 64
Eastern Ill 51 FINAL
UT Martin 81
Jacksonville St 82 FINAL
Belmont 103
Connecticut 58 FINAL
Cincinnati 70
Rider 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 49
SIU Edwardsville 75 FINAL
SE Missouri St 61
Marshall 69 FINAL
Southern Miss 54
Tenn Tech 56 FINAL
Tennessee St 64
Middle Tennessee 58 FINAL
TX-San Antonio 69
Ill-Chicago 65 FINAL
Milwaukee 71
Weber State 67 FINAL
North Dakota 60
Denver 54 FINAL
North Dakota St 61
IUPU-Ft Wayne 66 FINAL
South Dakota 55
Louisiana 85 FINAL
South Alabama 89
Ark-Little Rock 75 FINAL
Arkansas State 65
Georgia State 88 FINAL
Texas-Arlington 74
ULM 58 FINAL
Troy 55
Portland 46 FINAL
Gonzaga 64
Kentucky 69 FINAL
Missouri 53
Eastern Ky 78 FINAL
Murray State 85
UAB 69 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 71
Idaho State 76 FINAL
Northern Colorado 79
UMKC 57 FINAL
Grand Canyon 78
Chicago State 62 FINAL
Utah Valley U 78
Colorado 98 FINAL
USC 94
Cal Poly 57 FINAL
UC Irvine 67
Hawaii 84 FINAL
CS-Northridge 73
Pepperdine 50 FINAL
Pacific 43
Santa Clara 64 FINAL
San Diego 69
Utah 59 FINAL
UCLA 69
UC Santa Barbara 64 FINAL
UC Davis 70
Montana 73 FINAL
Portland State 54
Montana State 59 FINAL
Sacramento St 75
Long Beach State 91 FINAL
Cal State Fullerton 85
Loyola Marymount 54 FINAL
St Marys-CA 68
San Francisco 74 FINAL
BYU 78
California 76 FINAL
Washington St 67
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 77 FINAL
Georgia Southern 74
Niagara 58 FINAL
Saint Peters 65
Old Dominion 80 FINAL
FIU 67
Southern Miss 65 FINAL
Marshall 67
Georgia State 45 FINAL
TX-Arlington 57
Ark-Little Rock 69 FINAL
Arkansas State 70
ULM 51 FINAL
Troy 90
Pittsburgh 45 FINAL
(17) Duke 62
(6) Tennessee 73 FINAL
(10) Kentucky 72
(24) Oklahoma 81 FINAL
(14) Texas 84
Nebraska Omaha 59 FINAL
IUPU-Ft Wayne 70
UC-Riverside 68 FINAL
CS-Northridge 56
Army 65 FINAL
Boston U 40
New Orleans 40 FINAL
Nicholls 56
Charlotte 68 FINAL
Florida Atlantic 71
Towson 54 FINAL
Delaware 72
Hofstra 66 FINAL
Northeastern 45
New Hampshire 56 FINAL
Maine 87
Albany 89 FINAL
Vermont 48
Hartford 60 FINAL
Stony Brook 58
UNC-Wilmington 62 FINAL
William & Mary 67
Clemson 62 FINAL
Wake Forest 64
Alabama 54 FINAL
(1) South Carolina 85
(23) Syracuse 58 FINAL
(8) Louisville 78
Missouri 68 FINAL
Florida 52
Iona 66 FINAL
Fairfield 77
Manhattan 38 FINAL
Marist 77
NC State 63 FINAL
Virginia 71
(4) Notre Dame 74 FINAL
Virginia Tech 50
(22) Rutgers 58 FINAL
Purdue 49
(5) Maryland 91 FINAL
Michigan 65
Milwaukee 58 FINAL
Cleveland State 67
Wright State 108 FINAL
Oakland 89
Jacksonville 64 FINAL
USC Upstate 66
North Florida 40 FINAL
Kennesaw St 46
Stetson 62 FINAL
Northern Ky 68
Loyola-Maryland 57 FINAL
Holy Cross 51
Lamar 87 FINAL
Sam Houston St 68
Fla Gulf Coast 71 FINAL
Lipscomb 49
Vanderbilt 44 FINAL
(18) Miss State 69
IUPUI 62 FINAL
Western Ill 73
Abilene Christian 53 FINAL
Houston Baptist 50
Incarnate Word 54 FINAL
TX A&M-CC 63
McNeese State 78 FINAL
SE Louisiana 57
Oral Roberts 46 FINAL
South Dakota St 71
Louisiana Tech 66 FINAL
Western Ky 82
TX-San Antonio 53 FINAL
Middle Tennessee 73
Texas-El Paso 52 FINAL
UAB 67
Auburn 47 FINAL
Arkansas 52
Grand Canyon 65 FINAL
UMKC 59
Illinois 57 FINAL
(15) Nebraska 59
(20) Iowa 102 FINAL
Northwestern 99
Utah Valley U 55 FINAL
Chicago State 60
Green Bay 67 FINAL
Valparaiso 52
Ole Miss 41 FINAL
LSU 70
Portland State 31 FINAL
Montana 72
Sacramento St 64 FINAL
Montana State 91
North Dakota 55 FINAL
Weber State 48
Ohio State 85 FINAL
Wisconsin 73
Northern Colorado 61 FINAL
Idaho State 70
BYU 68 FINAL
San Francisco 63
St Marys-CA 56 FINAL
Loyola Marymount 49
Pacific 63 FINAL
Pepperdine 59
Cal-Irvine 61 FINAL
UC Santa Barbara 58
San Diego 64 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
UC Davis 64 FINAL
Cal Poly 72
Long Beach St 64 FINAL
Hawaii 72
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close