Monday, October 14, 2013

The return of Doug Bernier

Doug Bernier was called up at the All-Star
break and played in 33 games for the
Twins, but only four of them in September.
The Twins earlier this month outrighted infielder Doug Bernier, which made the 33-year-old infielder a minor league free agent. This weekend, Bernier re-signed with the Twins on a minor league deal, presumably with an invite to major league camp this spring — which, itself, is a step up from last year.

It's not difficult to understand why Bernier was eager to return to the Twins organization; they gave him almost a half season in the majors, which is a whole lot more service time than he ever got from his previous organizations (Colorado, Pittsburgh and the Yankees twice).

A bit more puzzling is why the Twins were eager to bring him back.

As matters stand, the Rochester middle infield regulars figure to be Danny Santana at shortstop and Eddie Rosario at second. I don't know what James Beresford's status is — he's probably a minor league free agent too — but I see more of a possibility of him becoming a useful major league player. For one thing, he's nine years younger than Bernier. Assuming Beresford is retained (and that's not a certainty), there doesn't appear to be a purpose to having Bernier as well.

So are appearances deceiving?

This may be reading too much into a signing that is clearly about minor league depth, but it leads me to suspect that the Twins may have other plans for Rosario in 2014 than playing second base in Triple A. The emergence of Brian Dozier during the second half may have persuaded the Twins that they don't need Rosario as a second baseman. If so, they might shift him back to the outfield; they might trade him.

And if Rosario isn't the second baseman for the Red Wings, there's a role available for Bernier.

1 comment:

  1. Just to add more question marks to the thinking regarding Bernier, James Beresford has re-signed with the Twins on a minor league deal with an invitation to Big League spring training.

    I do wonder, however, if the Twins won't be putting Rosario in the outfield 2014, given that Brian Dozier appears to have stepped up and made Rosario's conversion to 2B no longer necessary.