Earlier this year, Tyler Austin caught the attention of Twins fans by hitting a three-run homer off the departed Lance Lynn.
His season took a turn for the worse and he ended up being demoted to Scranton-Wilkes Barre, the Class AAA farm club of the Yankees, where he was in the lineup at first base on Monday night -- for one inning.
That's when he was yanked from the game and told been traded -- to the team across the field. Austin was going from the Yankees to the Twins in the deal for Lynn, and was in the dugout a few minutes later shaking hangs with his manager and new teammates.
Austin is greeted by Rochester manager Joel Skinner during Monday's game between the Red Wings and Scranton-Wilkes Barre. (Red Wings photo)
The news was broken to Austin from Scranton-Wilkes Barre manager Bobby Mitchell. (if you're old enough, you could remember Mitchell as a center fielder with the Twins in the early 1980s..) As bizarre as the scene sounds, it's something that's not wholly unusual in minor-league baseball.
Mitchell told DJ Eberle of the Wilkes Barre Times Leader: “It’s always tough to do that right in the middle of the game, and I’ve had to do it a few times. I was hoping he was going to the big leagues or something so I could tell him that, but this is the second-best thing, I think, for him. I think he thinks that. He’s happy. He had a smile on his face once he heard the news.
That's the odd part. The part that could give Twins fans some hope happened Tuesday night when Austin came to bat against his former team.