Friday, July 7, 2017

Mauer's (not) back

I got one right, more or less: Alan Busenitz, called up to fill Hector Santiago's roster spot, was sent back to Rochester after watching two games from the bullpen to activate Felix Jorge, who will start today's game.

I expect that Jorge will be demoted again immediately after the game. The Twins figure to fill out the weekend with Aldaberto Mejia and Kyle Gibson, then have four days off, then will likely resume with Jose Berrios, Ervin Santana, Mejia and Gibson before needing the fifth starter again. That's 10 days; that's enough to reactivate Santiago if he's ready, or recall Jorge, or bring back Dillon Gee, or whatever.

It won't be Busenitz, but the Twins can get a useable player -- a bullpen arm or a position player -- into that roster spot for six games before they need a starting pitcher there. That's the kind of roster game the new regime has been rather adept at playing.

They've been a great deal less agggressive with Joe Mauer's roster status. Mauer sat out Wednesday and Thursday after injuring his back running the bases on Tuesday, and he remains on the active roster.

One issue may be: Who would they activate to take his place? They could bring back Kennys Vargas early if they DL Mauer, but they sent Vargas out because he's not hitting. Byung Ho Park has finally gotten his bat going at Rochester, but he's not on the 40-man roster. They could bring up an outfielder (hello, Zack Granite) and move Max Kepler to first base, but I doubt they're eager to take Kepler out of right field.

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