Friday, July 25, 2014

Goodbye, Morales

Kendrys Morales' final stat line with the Twins:

Well, it was an attractive idea at the time: Sign free-agent Kendrys Morales to beef up the designated hitter slot and see if he could give the Twins offense enough of a boost to get them deeper into the playoff chase.

It didn't work. Morales hit just one homer in more than 160 trips to the plate with the Twins. His final slash line with Minnesota would embarrass a glove-first shortstop. Even after a 12-game hitting streak, his batting average was still in the .230s. (As 12-game hitting streaks go, it wasn't particularly impressive, with a .292 batting average. Morales had more than one hit just twice in the 12 games.)

On Thursday, the Twins sent him back to Seattle, where he played last year, in exchange for 25-year-old reliever Stephen Pryor. Pryor once threw tremendously hard, but then he got hurt, and the word is that instead of the 100-mph gas he featured before the injury he's operating in the low 90s. He hasn't been particularly effective in Triple A for the M's Tacoma farm team, and I would think that there are other relievers on the 40-man roster (or even off the roster) who should rank ahead of Pryor.

I think it likely the Twins will trade away at least one of their established set-up men (Jared Burton, Brian Duensing, Casey Fien), and if so, it will create openings for some of those relievers.

One thing for sure: We should not expect this to be the last veteran the Twins move this month (or next month in a waiver wire trade). Terry Ryan signed Morales in an effort to win now; the players simply could not live up to that notion.


One aspect of the Morales trade to note: Jorge Polanco, the young Dominican infielder who made a bit of a splash in a brief callup in June, was called up to fill the spot on the 25-man roster.

There really is no point to bringing him up to sit on the bench. But I certainly don't foresee either Brian Dozier or Eduardo Escobar sitting for the kid, and Polanco has had minimal exposure to any position other than shortstop and second base.

Sorta makes me wonder if there's a trade in the works involving a middle infielder.

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