Surprising big-league return for Twins' Bernier

  • Article by: KELLY PARSONS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: July 19, 2013 - 10:18 PM

The Minnesota Twins Doug Bernier is a 32-year-old career minor leaguer still looking for his first big league hit. Bernier was seen during batting practice at Target Field Friday, July 19, 2013, in Minneapolis, MN.

Photo: David Joles, Star Tribune

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

Doug Bernier was on the bus getting ready to ride back to Rochester, N.Y., after a game at Pawtucket, R.I., when Red Wings manager Gene Glynn called his team into the clubhouse.

It was during that impromptu gathering that Bernier, 33, learned his patience had finally paid off.

The utility infielder has spent 12 years in the minor leagues with four organizations and recorded only four major league at-bats during a short stint with Colorado at 2008. But Friday night at Target Field, Bernier finally made it back to where he has waited so long to be.

“I wasn’t expecting [to be called up],” Bernier said. “I was expecting to go home, have three days off and get back on the bus again.”

Instead, having been told about his call-up to the Twins Sunday, Bernier spent the next day packing his bags, and Tuesday, he drove from Rochester to Minneapolis — his first time in the state of Minnesota — with his wife and daughter.

In addition to Bernier, Chris Colabello, who started at designated hitter Friday, and catcher/left fielder Chris Herrmann were also called up during the All-Star break. All three have appeared in the major leagues before Friday, but Bernier, the oldest of the bunch, has the fewest by far.

In the past three years in the minors, Bernier has played every infield position, and he has a .985 fielding percentage in 92 games this season with the Red Wings. Still, 12 years in the minor leagues — six at Class AAA — often took its toll on Bernier.

“I definitely had some times where I was like, ‘What am I doing? Am I just wasting my time out here?’ ” Bernier said. “But I really believed in myself. I really believed there was an opportunity for me if I could just get a little more consistent.”

After his 2008 two-game stint with the Rockies, Bernier hadn’t posted a batting average above .240. This season, he hit .295 with 41 RBI.

“To know what he’s gone through, what he’s persevered through, it’s about love for the game of baseball,” Colabello said. “It’s just unbelievable. To be able to share it with him is something I’ll never forget.”

Colabello started at designated hitter Friday night, hitting sixth. Bernier and Herrmann are expected to get a few starts as well. They are here to breathe some life into the Twins offense.

“We need production,” General Manager Terry Ryan said. “We need scoring.”

The Twins sent Oswaldo Arcia, Chris Parmelee and Eduardo Escobar to Rochester on Sunday. Colabello, hitting .354 with 24 home runs and 76 RBI at Rochester this year, stands to get a lot of playing time because the Twins need a righthanded power presence in the lineup while Josh Willingham recovers from knee surgery.

Worley on shelf

Righthander Vance Worley was put on the seven-day disabled list at Rochester because of a sore shoulder. Ryan called the injury a very minor one, and Worley is expected to return in a week.

Worley, the Twins’ Opening Day starter, is 6-3 with a 3.88 ERA in nine starts in Rochester. Ryan said Worley still needs some fine tuning.

“He’s still be inconsistent in getting the ball down,’’ Ryan said.

Staff writer La Velle E. Neal III contributed to this report.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Toronto 104 FINAL
Indiana 91
Cleveland 103 FINAL
Detroit 95
Milwaukee 109 FINAL
Miami 102
Memphis 109 FINAL
Dallas 90
Chicago 113 FINAL
Golden State 111
Washington 98 FINAL
LA Lakers 92
NY Rangers 1 FINAL
NY Islanders 4
Arizona 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 4
Winnipeg 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 5
Washington 3 FINAL
Columbus 4
Tampa Bay 2 FINAL
Carolina 4
Dallas 2 FINAL
Montreal 3
Detroit 5 FINAL
Florida 4
Colorado 3 FINAL(OT)
Nashville 4
Buffalo 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
Minnesota 2 FINAL
Edmonton 1
Anaheim 4 FINAL
Vancouver 0
Ball State 47 FINAL
Akron 59
Northern Ill 46 FINAL
Bowling Green 56
Western Mich 71 FINAL
Buffalo 77
Ohio 40 FINAL
Eastern Mich 76
Xavier 66 FINAL
Georgetown 53
Vanderbilt 62 FINAL
Georgia 70
West Virginia 65 FINAL
Kansas State 59
Central Mich 53 FINAL
Kent State 63
Saint Josephs 48 FINAL
La Salle 53
Nebraska 44 FINAL
Michigan 58
Miami-Ohio 65 FINAL
Toledo 70
Tulsa 62 FINAL
Tulane 55
George Washington 48 FINAL
VA Commonwealth 72
Pittsburgh 67 FINAL
Virginia Tech 70
Indiana State 78 FINAL
Evansville 89
Tabor College 53 FINAL
Oral Roberts 94
Florida 52 FINAL
Alabama 50
Tennessee 64 FINAL
Arkansas 69
Texas A&M 71 FINAL
Auburn 61
Baylor 53 FINAL
Oklahoma State 64
DePaul 0 Postponed
Providence 0
Michigan State 0 Postponed
Rutgers 0
Wyoming 44 FINAL
Utah State 56
Fresno State 47 FINAL
San Diego St 58
Nevada 62
SD Christian 54 FINAL
CS-Bakersfield 79
Colorado State 78 FINAL
Boise State 82
Temple 71 FINAL
UCF 54
Campbell 42 FINAL
Presbyterian 51
Coastal Carolina 65 FINAL
High Point 73
Gardner-Webb 49 FINAL
Radford 59
UNC-Asheville 58 FINAL
Liberty 62
Winthrop 63 FINAL
Longwood 62
Columbia International 33 FINAL
Charleston Southern 74
Tulane 63 FINAL
Houston 46
(3) Baylor 89 FINAL
TCU 67
Navy 49 FINAL
American Univ 59
Valparaiso 42 FINAL
Illinois-Chicago 60
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: How optimistic are you about the 2015 Twins?

Weekly Question