Twins' Antony: "I wish some guys would step up"

  • Updated: March 20, 2014 - 12:03 PM
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Rob Antony

Photo: JEFFREY THOMPSON, Star Tribune file

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The Twins don’t mind mak­ing hard ros­ter de­ci­sions. They just pre­fer it would be be­tween play­ers hav­ing strong camps.

No one is em­er­ging in bat­tles for ros­ter spots, lead­ing to a blunt as­sess­ment from as­sist­ant gen­er­al man­ag­er Rob An­to­ny.

“I wish some guys would step up and earn a job,” An­to­ny said. “No one is re­al­ly doing that. All these guys who are in com­pe­ti­tion. [Aaron] Hicks hasn’t been any­thing spe­cial this spring. Nei­ther has [Alex] Presley in cen­ter field. So there’s your cen­ter-field bat­tle.”

Hicks is bat­ting .286 with a home run and three RBI. He went 1-for-2 with a walk and a bloop sin­gle on Wednes­day. Presley is bat­ting .161 and is 0-for-3 in sto­len base at­tempts.

An­to­ny moved on to the race for the fi­nal spot in the start­ing ro­ta­tion. While Kyle Gibson and Sam­u­el Deduno have pitched well, An­to­ny point­ed out that Vance Wor­ley is 0-1 with a 13.50 ERA this spring while Scott Diamond is 1-0 with a 5.59 ERA.

An­to­ny con­tinued on the com­pe­ti­tion for bench spots.

“[Ja­son] Kubel hasn’t been very good,” An­to­ny said. “I think he’s got a hit [ac­tu­al­ly two] all spring. [Ja­son] Bart­lett is hitless. [Ed­uar­do] Es­co­bar has had de­fen­sive laps­es and made mis­takes in the field. So these are the guys bat­tling for a u­til­i­ty spot, so it’s hard to get ex­cit­ed and say, ‘This is our guy,’ when no one is doing par­tic­u­lar­ly well.”

An­to­ny spoke be­fore Bart­lett got his first hit of the spring Wednes­day, a hard sin­gle to right dur­ing a hit-and-run in the sixth in­ning that drove in the Twins’ lone run in a 3-1 loss to the Cardinals. But An­to­ny’s dis­ap­point­ment was ob­vi­ous as he calls for some­one to step up.

Dif­fer­ent opin­ions

An­to­ny’s com­ments came dur­ing a dis­cus­sion about the dif­fer­ences in o­pin­ion that pop up be­tween man­ag­ers and the front of­fice at this time of year. For in­stance, Gardenhire is push­ing for Bart­lett.

Gardenhire was asked if a man­ag­er should wor­ry about things GMs wor­ry about, such as who is out of op­tions. The Twins have eight such play­ers in camp.

“I under­stand all that stuff,” he said. “Op­tions are de­ceiv­ing be­cause if you are out of op­tions that means you had chan­ces, you had lots of op­por­tuni­ties. They are de­ceiv­ing. They don’t de­ceive me. They are in my way, let’s put it that way.”

That was re­layed to An­to­ny, who chuckled.

“Some­times that’s the case,” An­to­ny said. “Some­times there’s an­oth­er case, like when Michael Cuddyer is out of op­tions, Josh Willingham is out of op­tions right now. Justin Morneau was out of op­tions. A lot of good play­ers end up out of op­tions be­cause it took them three years to get going.”

Bux­ton re­cov­er­ing

Top pros­pect Byron Bux­ton re­mains side­lined be­cause of a sprained left wrist suf­fered Sun­day af­ter div­ing for a ball. Brad Steil, Twins di­rec­tor of mi­nor league op­er­ations, said Bux­ton is con­sid­ered day to day.

On deck

Lefthander Diamond will start for the Twins on Thurs­day while lefthander Ce­sar Ramos starts for Tam­pa Bay. First pitch is at 6:05 p.m. in Port Charlotte, Fla.

La Velle E. Neal III

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