Monday, May 20, 2013

Roster shakeup coming?

The Twins on Sunday wrapped up a miserable 2-7 homestand with yet another loss in which the starting pitcher left way too many innings (and too big a deficit) to the bullpen and the lineup failed to produce.

Something is going to change pretty soon. And one avenue to a roster shakeup opened Sunday when the Twins announced that outfielder Darin Mastroianni, who went on the 15-day disabled list in mid-April with what was called a "stress reaction" in his left ankle, would have surgery to remove a bone chip from that ankle.

I'm no orthopedic specialist, but as I understand it these are not the same injury, but the stress reaction (and the attempts to test the recovery from it) may have led to the bone chip. Whatever the medical background, Mastroianni will not be back until sometime after the All-Star break in July.

This means:

  • If the Twins were waiting for Mastroianni to return to pull the plug on Aaron Hicks as the regular center fielder -- and I don't really think that's the case -- they need to come up with another idea.
  • If the Twins want to call up a player who isn't now on the 40-man roster -- the red-hot Chris Colabello, for example -- they can shift Mastroianni to the 60-day disabled list, which would remove him from the 40.

The Twins' new road trip includes their first interleague road games, which means no DH, which means that two of the hitters they want to have in the lineup will be on the bench. One of them will likely be either Ryan Doumit or Joe Mauer, since one will catch and the other won't DH. And the other will come out of the Chris Parmelee-Oswaldo Arcia-Josh Willingham-Justin Morneau foursome.

Given how abused the bullpen has been the past week, I wouldn't be stunned if the Twins finally went to the 13-man staff I expected at the start of the season. With at-bats likely to be squeezed, it might be Arcia who gets bumped if that happens. With Mastroianni out of the picture for probably two months, their options for a call-up are not limited to the players on the 40.

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