Saturday, June 27, 2015

One of those days

Nothing much went right for the Twins on Friday.

Problem One: Byron Buxton went on the disabled list with a sprained thumb. The Twins put the timeline for his return at four to six weeks. Then he'll probably have a rehab stint in the minors. We're looking at mid-August for his return, is my guess.

With Aaron Hicks also on the disabled list, the Twins started Shane Robinson in center Friday against a right-handed pitcher, which is sub-optimal.

Danny Santana was recalled and warned by Paul Molitor that he might be pressed into center field duties, a la last season. Which gives me that "here we go again" feeling. But even if they slide Eddie Rosario into center (my preferred solution), that just means somebody else has to play left -- and if not Robinson, it's going to be an infielder.

So the outfield defense -- to my way of thinking the key improvement to this team -- is suddenly looking shakier.

Problem Two: Ricky Nolasco tested his troublesome ankle and his new orthotics with a bullpen session. That didn't go well.

Not that there's room for Nolasco in the rotation at the moment anyway, but the Twins would rather have their $49 million pitcher functioning.

Problem Three: Trevor May got one out Friday night against the lowly Brewers. One stinking out.

His ERA rose from 4.03 to 4.62.

One bad start is one bad start, and I still regard May as a better bet than at least two other members of the rotation. But two other facts remain: One, May has roster flexibility; Two, Ervin Santana has to be added to the 25-man roster after seven more games. This bad outing makes it all too easy for the Twins to take the easy route to open a slot for E. Santana.

Problem Four: Alex Meyer got lit up in his major league debut, allowing four runs in 1.2 innings. That's hardly pushing him up the bullpen totem pole.

OK, here's a silver lining: Brian Duensing had three shutout innings and Aaron Thompson one.

Signs of effectiveness from those lefties are welcome. But they don't make up for the bad news.

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