Thomas surprised to be back with Twins

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 5, 2013 - 12:32 AM

Clete Thomas, whose last major league game was 13 months ago, is back with the Twins to back up Aaron Hicks in center.

hide

Twins outfielder Clete Thomas pulled down a catch during spring training in Fort Myers.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

– Clete Thomas got the news from Class AAA Rochester manager Gene Glynn on Monday morning, as he climbed into a van to go work out.

“He told me to come back inside,” the Red Wings center fielder said. “I thought that was weird, but I went inside and he told me. … It was definitely a surprise.”

A really good one, in fact. Thomas, whose last major league game was 13 months ago, was headed to the Twins, to back up Aaron Hicks in center.

“This time was really exciting, almost as exciting as the first time” he got the news, “because I worked hard for this. … It’s pretty awesome.”

After batting .369 with four home runs in April, while Hicks managed only .116 in the majors and backup Darin Mastroioanni was out because of a broken ankle, Thomas said he tried not to think the Twins never were going to call him up. He just continued to try to change himself back to the hitter he once was, before strikeouts threatened his career.

“That was what we told him when I sent him out — he needed to make adjustment with more balls in play, which gives you a chance to get base hits,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “Unless you’re going to be a 40-home run guy, you better put the ball in play. And he went down there, to his credit, he shortened his swing, did some work, and he’s hitting very well.”

Thomas is at .296 for the year with nine home runs, and though he struck out three times Sunday, he has 35 in 36 games. It’s a start.

Thomas fell into a home-run trap, he believes. “I kind of lost track of who I was. I wanted home runs, and that’s not me,” he said. “I’ve got power, but I’m not a home run hitter. I’m more of a gap guy, hit it and run. So I had to find myself again before anything else could be fixed.”

Waiting on Robertson

The Twins don’t know yet whether Tyler Robertson will clear waivers, which would enable them to keep him at Rochester, but considering he is only 25, has decent minor league statistics and, most importantly, is lefthanded, they assume he will be claimed.

Which is too bad, Gardenhire said, but the Twins needed a roster spot for Thomas, and “he was basically next on the list” of players they would consider designating for assignment and removing from the 40-man roster.

Gardenhire said a couple of factors explain the decision. The promotion of Aaron Thompson, another lefty reliever, to Rochester made Robertson expendable, Gardenhire said.

“We watched [Thompson] on TV in my office the other day, and he came in firing pellets,” Gardenhire said.

And Robertson has not been doing the same this year.

“His velocity had gone down to 87, 88 mph,” Gardenhire said. “He could spin the ball, he could still get some people out. But even in spring training, he had no velocity.”

Etc.

• Justin Morneau was back in the lineup Tuesday after a weekend fighting flulike symptoms. “I couldn’t even move on Saturday,” he said of his illness. He’s fine now, the first baseman said — “I’m as 100 percent as 100 percent is this time of year,” he said.

• Morneau was well enough Sunday to serve as host of his annual casino night, which raises money to help children with arthritis. “Our goal was $150,000 and we made a little more than that, so it was really good,” Morneau said. The money raised will go to support the Arthritis Foundation’s Camp Mash program — “Mash” stands for Make Arthritis Stop Hurting — including the establishment of a summer camp in Minnesota, Iowa and the Dakotas.

• Twins radio broadcaster Cory Provus and his wife, Dana, have a son named Cooper, born Monday.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Minnesota 94 FINAL
Philadelphia 103
Houston 93 FINAL
Boston 87
Portland 99 FINAL
Atlanta 105
Sacramento 90 FINAL
Cleveland 101
Toronto 127 FINAL
Brooklyn 122
Dallas 93 FINAL
Miami 72
LA Clippers 103 FINAL
New Orleans 108
Golden State 100 FINAL
Utah 110
Chicago 93 FINAL
Phoenix 99
Pittsburgh 2 FINAL(OT)
New Jersey 1
St. Louis 3 FINAL(SO)
Carolina 2
Nashville 0 FINAL
Colorado 3
Buffalo 2 FINAL
Vancouver 5
Chicago 4 FINAL
Anaheim 1
Harvard 75 FINAL
Princeton 72
Quinnipiac 57 FINAL
Canisius 63
Brown 49 FINAL
Cornell 57
Siena 79 FINAL
Manhattan 87
Marist 65 FINAL
Niagara 61
Dartmouth 51 FINAL
Penn 58
Oregon 68 FINAL
Arizona State 67
Yale 63 FINAL
Columbia 59
Monmouth 60 FINAL
Fairfield 59
IUPUI 59 FINAL
Western Ill 63
Oregon State 34 FINAL
Arizona 57
Kent State 55 FINAL
Buffalo 80
Canisius 75 FINAL
Monmouth 58
Butler 67 FINAL
Providence 59
Cornell 65 FINAL
Brown 52
Columbia 47 FINAL
Yale 55
Coll of Charleston 47 FINAL
Drexel 64
Penn 55 FINAL
Dartmouth 39
Elon 60 FINAL
James Madison 89
(19) Princeton 96 FINAL
Harvard 46
(9) Florida State 82 FINAL
Georgia Tech 62
Quinnipiac 87 FINAL
Siena 62
Richmond 54 FINAL
Rhode Island 50
Loyola-Chicago 58 FINAL
Southern Ill 64
Georgetown 52 FINAL
DePaul 93
Villanova 75 FINAL
Marquette 59
Wichita State 70 FINAL
Northern Iowa 51
Xavier 65 FINAL
Creighton 74
Bradley 58 FINAL
Illinois State 55
Missouri State 89 FINAL
Drake 94
Arizona 48 FINAL
Utah 62
(11) Arizona State 68 FINAL
Colorado 60
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