Saturday, May 7, 2016

Roster revamp, part 1 (and HBPs)

The only action Brian Dozier (hamstring) saw Friday
was during the bench-clearing late in the game after Chicago's
Jose Abreu (79) was hit by a pitch.
Friday's roster shuffle wasn't exactly what I was anticipating. Tommy Milone and Casey Fien may have been waived, but the waiver period had not expired as of Friday (that will be this afternoon), so they were still on the roster.

Not on the roster because they were "designated for assignment," a move that does immediately take them off the 40-  and 25-man rosters, were J.R. Graham and Ryan O'Rourke, a pair of marginal relievers. Catcher John Ryan Murphy, as expected, was optioned out.

Ervin Santana was activated from the disabled list -- he starts today -- and the Twins selected the contracts of outfielder Darin Mastroianni and catcher Juan Centeno,

So three out and three in on Friday, and presumably three out and three in today, as shortstop Eduardo Escobar got hurt in Friday's game and is apparently headed to the disabled list. Jorge Polanco was pulled from the Rochester game and presumably will take Escobar's roster spot. He might even play a bit this time up.

I'm not sure who will replace Milone and Fien on the roster when their waiver period closes, although J.T. Chargois is a pretty good guess for one slot. Considering the suddenly dilapidated state of the Angels rotation in particular, I can't imagine Milone clearing waivers (two of the Angels starters went on the DL Friday with elbow miseries; one will have Tommy John and the other might). Fien is another matter. I suspect the Twins will retain him in Rochester. (For that matter, I wouldn't be surprised if O'Rourke got claimed by another team; I don't Graham will be leaving the organization.) We'll see soon how all this shakes out.

But other than Chargois and the return of their opening day starter, this (likely) shuffle of six roster slots probably doesn't help the now 8-21 team much. Losing the starting shortstop certainly won't improve things.

You compare the records of Murphy and Centeno, and there's no reason to think Centeno is going to be an upgrade. Even with Murphy's 3-for-40 2016 added in, he's a .242 hitter in 302 career at-bats and turns 25 next week. Centeno is 26 and a .164 hitter in 66 career at-bats. It's an understandable move in the short-term, but Murphy is still the better bet to be an impact catcher.


Speaking of impacts, the Twins and White Sox engaged in a bit of hit-me, hit-you foolishness Friday. The White Sox plunked Byung Ho Park, and Trevor May responded by putting his fastball in Jose Abreu's ribs. That cleared the dugouts, but the only ejection was of the Chicago manager. Then the Sox hit Kurt Suzuki, who simply went to first base without the Abreu histrionics.

I don't know that the Sox were throwing at Park, although it's possible that somebody took offense to the big guy's swings. But certainly May was retaliating, and just as certainly Sukuki got hit in retaliation for that. Foolishness, as I said, but ... the Twins were getting blown out again, they were headed for 8-21, there were two dead men walking in the bullpen. This is a frustrated and embarrassed team right now, and frustrated and embarrassed people will do foolish things. The Sox don't have that excuse for their foolishness.

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