Monday, April 11, 2016

Going to the Max

Max Kepler gets
a brief call-up for
Danny Santana's injury.
Danny Santana did something to his hamstring Saturday night, something significant enough that he was placed on the 15-day disabled list before the game ended. Max Kepler was recalled.

In many ways, the selection of Kepler to take Santana's role is inappropriate. Santana is supposed to be the Swiss Army knife -- three infield positions, three outfield positions. Kepler can handle the outfield spots at least as well as Santana, but he's no infielder (other than first base, which is pretty well stocked). Kepler is talented but raw; he's a future regular, if not a future star, and nurturing that future requires regular playing time, not sitting on the bench in the majors.

But ... he's on the 40-man roster. Darin Mastroianni and James Beresford, who are better suited to a bench role, are not. And the Twins are wise not to make a 40-man move to accommodate a temporary 25-man move. Santana is expected to be back when the two-week period is over;

No, the debateable part of the call-up is this: Do you want an outfielder or an infielder to fill in for Santana? If an infielder, the obvious choice (again, because he's on the 40) is Jorge Polanco.

The Twins went with the outfielder, from which we can surmise that the most important role Santana plays on this roster is that of speedy outfielder. Santana is (was) the defensive sub for Miguel Sano in right and the alternative to Byron Buxton in center. These are things Oswaldo Arcia, also on the active roster, cannot do adequately. Kepler can, even if using him for those roles isn't the ideal way to use him.

1 comment:

  1. Why do they keep Arcia is they don't seem to have any interest in using him? If the plan is to trade him later, how does keeping him on the bench raise his value? Very strange behavior. . . .