Friday, May 9, 2014

Shaking up the roster

Pedro Florimon learned
Thursday that .108 hitters
don't stay in the majors.
Maybe he learned that.


The Twins followed up Thursday's loss by demoting Pedro Florimon and Chris Herrmann to Rochester.

No call-ups were immediately named. The presumption is that Aaron Hicks, pending a successful concussion evaluation, will be reactivated -- a move that would give the Twins a better centerfielder than Eduardo Escobar. And it also seems likely that Oswaldo Arcia will be brought back from his rehab assignment.

Arcia should cut into the playing time of Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello (at least once Joe Mauer returns from his back issues) and Josmil Pinto, all of whom have slumped of late. That "should" is not only predictive of what Ron Gardenhire will do, it is a value statement. Arcia is a bigger part of the Twins future than any of those three, with the possible exception of Pinto. Arcia ought to play more than the others.

I do expect Pinto's playing time to diminish, not only because of Arcia but because Herrmann, the No. 3 catcher, is gone. Gardenhire's reluctance to use a catcher as designated hitter is frequently deplored but, in my view, understandable. Catcher is not like other positions. It's a specialized position, and it is intimately involved in every pitch.

Then there's Florimon, who was apparently surprised by the idea that the Twins might find a .108-hitting shortstop a detriment. Of his demotion, I can only say: About time.

I don't know what Gardenhire will do at short now. I hope he goes with Escobar, but as long as Danny Santana's on the roster, he'll probably be the regular. If the Twins really view Santana as their long-range shortstop, there's no sense in letting him sit on the major league bench. I don't share the optimism about Santana, and if I'm right, he'll play himself off the roster soon enough.

On Thursday, the Twins had three shortstops on the roster. Today they have three, with the other being Eduardo Nunez. That's still too many.

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