La Velle E. Neal III has covered baseball for the Star Tribune since 1998 (the post-Knoblauch era). Born and raised in Chicago, he grew up following the White Sox and hating the Cubs. He attended both the University of Illinois and Illinois-Chicago and began his baseball writing career at the Kansas City Star. He can be heard occasionally on KFAN radio, lending his great baseball mind to Paul Allen and other hosts. Mark Rosen borrows him occasionally for WCCO-TV.

Twins claim Sam Fuld off waivers; designate Mastroianni for assignment

Posted by: La Velle E. Neal III Updated: April 20, 2014 - 1:23 PM

The Twins have claimed outfielder Sam Fuld off of waivers from the Oakland A's, giving them a player who can back up all three outfield positions and spell Aaron Hicks in center field, especially against right-handed pitching.

Fuld, 32, hit .200 in seven games with Oakland as a replacement for the injured Coco Crisp. He homered against the Twins at Target Field during the home opening series.

To make room for Fuld, the Twins desginated outfielder Darin Mastroianni for assignment.

The Twins were awarded Fuld at 12:05 today, and had to make immediate room on the 40-man roster for him, So they designated Mastroianni, who was 0-for-11 in seven games for the Twins. The Twins have 10 days to trade him, but assistant GM Rob Antony said Mastrianni is in, ``good standing,'' with the Twins and would like to keep him in the organization if he clears waivers.

Antony said Fuld can play all three outfield positions, but he also  brought up the possibility of Fuld taking some lefthanded at-bats away from Aaron Hicks.

Hicks has been struggling at the plate, batting .179 overal and .161 lefthanded. He also didn't hustle to back up at least two plays in the outfield, which manager Ron Gardenhire pointed out before Sunday's game.

``I wouldn't say he's gotten off to a great start,'' Antony said. ``I don't think he's inked in as our centerfielder every day for the rest of the season. I think he needs to improve his game and become more consistent.''

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