A handful of extras from the Twins’ 11-3 loss Sunday, in which the best news was that there was no rain delay:
— I was surprised by the timing of Kennys Vargas’ demotion to the minor leagues today, because the Twins are headed next to Pittsburgh, a National League city where pinch-hitters will presumably be needed to pinch-hit for pitchers. I know manager Paul Molitor was unhappy with Vargas’ approach and worried about how confused he seemed about how to restore his power, but he could at least serve as a pinch-hitter who might give the opposing manager pause. Instead, the Twins’ bench in Pittsburgh will be, more or less, Eduardo Nunez, Chris Herrmann, Shane Robinson, Eddie Rosario and Doug Bernier, a quartet that has 10 extra-base hits, and just one home run (Rosario’s first-pitch memory), among them. Adding Oswaldo Arcia sometime soon — and he insists he’s almost ready now, even before getting back on the field — will obviously help.
— It was impressive how well Vargas took his demotion, because it was clear it was a shock. But he agreed to be interviewed after getting the news, and basically said in so many words that he agreed with the decision. His three home runs and 10 RBIs in mid-May are not enough, he said, and he has a good attitude about his ability to get turned around. “I’m OK. This is business. You have to adjust, keep your mind right and try to come back,” he said. “I know I can come back quick.”
— Kyle Gibson figures his problem Sunday was predictability — he was using the same approach, batter after batter. “I got a little repeatable, in a pattern,” Gibson said. “I’ve just got to do a better job of keeping myself out of those patterns and just use my head a little bit more.” Still, Gibson was hardly the problem Sunday. Some of the more reliable arms in the bullpen had problems; Michael Tonkin, who hadn’t given up more than one run or one hit in any of his seven previous appearances, got rocked for two runs and three hits. Aaron Thompson, perhaps Molitor’s most reliable reliever (aside from closer Glen Perkins) through the first three weeks of the season, gave up three runs and four hits while retiring just one batter. And Brian Duensing gave up three runs on two hits and a walk while getting one out. For Duensing, it’s the seventh time in eight appearances since returning from an intercostal injury — basically every outing but his one-pitch win on Saturday — that he’s put at least one runner on base. Duensing’s ERA is 10.57 at the moment, so he might not get many late-inning assignments for awhile.