Eddie Rosario is on a plane right now, headed to the Twin Cities to make his major-league debut. He’s not expected to arrive at Target Field until after the game starts at 7:10 p.m., but could get a chance to pinch-hit tonight.
Rosario, ranked as the Twins’ 10th-best prospect by Baseball America before the season, was something of a surprise choice for a promotion, given that he was hitting .242 at Class AAA Rochester and has no major-league experience, while Aaron Hicks is batting .289 and has 150 games of experience with the Twins.
But after talking to manager Paul Molitor about the move, it sounds as though the Twins just believe it’s time to give the 23-year-old Puerto Rican a look.
“Ever since people laid eyes on him back in extended spring training [in 2010], he just gets your attention because he has the ability to square up the ball,” Molitor said. “Hitting was always the main thing that you looked at, but he runs well enough, he runs the bases aggressively, and certainly he can play defense. So I’ve been around him enough to know that for that kid, it’s just been a matter of him learning to apply himself a little bit more consistently and I think he’s been doing that.”
The opportunity to promote Rosario came up Monday morning, when Oswaldo Arcia underwent a magnetic resonance imaging test, a scan that showed a strain in his right hip. Arcia said he felt pain in the muscle when he made a long throw to the plate during Sunday’s game, and it got much worse when he ran out a single a few innings later. Arcia estimates he will miss 7-10 days, but Molitor had no interest in playing short-handed for that long, so Arcia quickly went on the 15-day disabled list.
That led to discussions in the Twins front office about who to summon to replace him. Byron Buxton, riding a hot streak at Class AA Chattanooga wasn’t considered, the manager said, but Hicks and catcher Josmil Pinto were. They finally settled upon Rosario, who figures to play left field quite a bit while Arcia is gone, particularly when the Twins face left-handed starters like Scott Kazmir and Drew Pomeranz, scheduled to start Wednesday and Thursday.
Phil Hughes, still searching for his first win, gets the start for Minnesota tonight on Star Wars night at Target Field. He’s trying to bounce back from a sore hip of his own, an ailment that forced him out of last Wednesday’s game after just five innings.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s game with the Athletics, who are 3-7 over their past 10 games: