Monday, June 24, 2013

Sunday roster shuffle

The Twins were moving players around like checkers Sunday. And they got a win out of it.

Pedro Hernandez walked six men in his
five innings of work Sunday, but Cleveland
got only two runs against him.

Mike Pelfrey to the disabled list; Pedro Hernandez recalled

The movement started quietly on Saturday, when it was determined that Pelfrey — who had apparently had his back go out on him — was a bad bet for Sunday. (Maybe Ron Gardenhire would have taken the veteran up on his offer to try to pitch if P.J. Walters hadn't blown up the bullpen with a dreadful start Saturday, but there was no way Gardy was going to risk a repeat.)

That it was Hernandez who got the call for the emergency start caused some consternation on Twitter among people who wanted Kyle Gibson (who had started Thursday and thus was not an option for Sunday) or Trevor May (who is on the 40-man roster, who was slated to start Sunday anyway for New Britain and was in Akron, Ohio, some 44 miles from the Cleveland ballpark).

May's been pitching well for the RockCats, but I think the Twins did right by him to avoid a frenzied call-up for his debut. He's made progress battling his control issues, and there's no point in jeopardizing his comfort level.

Pelfrey's been effective enough of late that he had begun to pop up in July trade rumors. Specifically, the reporter for the Baltimore Orioles had listed him among starting pitchers the O's are looking at as possible trade targets. This DL stint will cool that kind of talk.

Hernandez demoted, Gibson to be activated

Hernandez was with the Rochester team in Louisville, Ky. He drove all night to get to Cleveland — supposedly he arrived at 4:30 a.m. — started at 1 p.m., provided five innings of two-run ball (on three days rest and presumably almost zero sleep) and was demoted again by 5 p.m. He probably spent more time driving than he did on the major league roster; I hope the Twins at least popped for a hotel room so he could get some shuteye before returning to the Red Wings.

Kyle Gibson in
Rochester: 7-5,
3.01in 92.2 innings.
Gibson is to be activated Tuesday (off day today) but won't pitch until Saturday.

Presumably the Twins intend to keep Gibson in the rotation the rest of his season (Gibson's season is expected to end somewhere around 130 to 140 innings, and he's already worked 99.2 for Rochester). Assuming that Pelfrey's DL stint is the 15-day minimum, he'll be eligible to return July 4, and we'll see who gives way in the rotation then. I would think Walters is the one on the thinnest ice.

Byron Buxton moves up

If you put off making the road trip to see the phenom play in Iowa, you've missed your chance. Buxton was promoted Sunday to high-A Fort Myers, having spent less time with the Cedar Rapids Kernels than Mike Trout did in 2010 (68 games for Buxton, 81 for Trout).

Some people have been grousing for a month about Buxton not moving up already, but this is the fast track indeed. The Twins rarely promote in midseason from low A. Even Joe Mauer spent a full season in the Midwest League. Ben Revere spent a full season flirting with .400 without getting moved up the ladder.

Rehab assignments

Aaron Hicks will test his hamstring in Fort Myers this week; if all goes well, the rookie centerfielder may be back with the Twins by Thursday, when they return home to face Kansas City. I'll probably post in the coming days about the outfield glut and the lineup with Hicks.

The word is less bright for Wilkin Ramirez, who dove for a ball the other day on his rehab assignment and started getting concussion symptoms again. Not good. Concussion recovery is not predictable, but the Twins recent experiences with them suggest that Ramirez may not be back this year.

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