Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Notes, quotes and comment

Clete Thomas' slash
line with the Twins
in 2012: .143/.172/
.286, with 16 strikeouts
in 29 plate appearances.

The Twins will fill the 25-man roster spot they opened after Sunday's game with Clete Thomas, an outfielder who got some time with the Twins last year after the Tigers waived him. To make room on the 40 for Thomas, they designated Tyler Robertson for assignment.

I'm not impressed with this move. Remember, it is my belief that everything the Twins do should have 2014 (or even further out) as the primary concern. Thomas is 29 and nothing more than a marginal player. There is no long-term purpose to giving him playing time. The only immediate benefit to giving him PT would be from sitting Aaron Hicks against righties, and that would be counterproductive to the long term goals.

Thomas has had a very productive April and May for Rochester (.296/.385/.576), but there's nothing in his track record that says he's that good.

Not that the possibility of losing Robertson concerns me very much. He's left-handed and breathing, a combination that gives him a chance. He's also a LOOGY (Left-handed One Out GuY) who isn't consistent with his breaking ball, a combination that wrecks chances.
Tyler Robertson
opened the season
with the Twins but
was sent out after
two appearances.


He had a 3.05 ERA in Rochester, which looks OK, but he walked 16 men in 20.2 innings, which is definitely not OK.

The Twins now have 10 days to dispose of Robertson's contract. Somebody may claim him on waivers — he is, after all, left-handed and breathing — but I wouldn't be surprised if he clears waivers and remains in the Twins system.

---

Joe Mauer returned to the No. 2 spot in the batting order during the series with Seattle, and Ron Gardenhire indicated that he'll stay there because he gets more RBI chances as the No. 2 hitter.

Right decision, wrong reason.

Consider the three guys hitting in front of Mauer on Sunday: Hicks (on-base percentage .246); Pedro Florimon (.331, which is much better than I expected); and Eduardo Escobar (.274). Drop Mauer to the third hole, and the three hitters are probably going to be Florimon, Escobar and either Hicks or Brian Dozier (.276).

Not a lot of RBI opportunities either way.

No, the gain from hitting Mauer second is more plate appearances for Mauer, Josh Willingham, etc. as the middle of the lineup moves up, and fewer plate appearances for one of the outmakers.

---

Reports Sunday evening had two prominent collegiate pitching prospects in this week's draft field testing positive for a banned stimulant. One of them is Jonathan Gray, the Oklahoma right-hander generally seen as one of the top two prospects in the field; the other, Aaron Blair of Marshall, is No. 41 in Baseball America's draft list, which would put him high in the second round.

BA doesn't expect the test results to affect either man's draft status.

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