Is it too early for the Twins to regret designating Oswaldo Arcia for assignment?
Two weeks have passed since the lefthanded slugger went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts in his final game with the Twins. Now he’s one of the best hitters in the American League in the last five games and is giving Tampa Bay a much-needed burst of offense.
The Rays acquired him last week in exchange for cash considerations or player to be named later.
Arcia has six hits (6-for-16) highlighted by two doubles and one home run in five games with the Rays. He has also raised his batting average .030 points to .244 during this stretch and compiled four RBI.
In May with the Twins, Arcia had only nine hits and five RBI while striking out 17 times.
The Rays have found a regular spot in the lineup for Arcia. He started the last four games in right field where he’s also showing off some impressive defensive skills. He was scratched from Wednesday’s lineup with an illness.
Rays manager Kevin Cash has fond memories of Arcia’s bat. He told Knuckleball that Arcia “actually beat us pretty good" when Cash was with Cleveland as the bullpen coach in 2013-2014.
“He’s brought us a little bit of life here the last two or three days, and that’s great to see,’’ Cash added. “Hopefully he’ll continue to do that because we’re going to lean on him while he’s swinging the bat the way he is now. He’s giving us good at-bats, he’s positive, he’s energetic – he’s doing some good things for us.’’
Arcia spent parts of four seasons with the Twins and hit 14 home runs as a rookie in 2013 and 20 more in 2014. But after two subpar seasons and the rise of other young outfielders the Twins parted ways with Arcia on June 16.
He told reporters after the trade “I was basically waiting for it. … Last year, I was up and down [in-between the big leagues and minors], and that’s not really a stable situation. So this year I’m looking for that chance to be up for the full time and compete.’’
Twins fans and the front office hope this transaction doesn't lead to the same sort of regret that followed when they gave up on David Ortiz 14 years ago. Arcia has a long ways to go before that happens, but he's off to a good start.