Saturday, May 6, 2017

Roster moves and Mauer in the ninth

You probably have heard that Joe Mauer hit a walk-off homer Friday night, his first such four-bagger in his illustrious career.

I checked his career splits on Baseball Reference. It was his 14th ninth-inning homer. He sported coming into the game a .290/.377/.447 slash line in the ninth (a total of 520 plate appearances) with an OPS in the innings slightly below his career figure.

It hasn't been a particuarly productive season so far for Mauer, although, as Mike Bernardino noted earlier in the week in an exhaustive examination, luck ran against him in April. He's hit a pair of homers this week; maybe things are turning around for him.


The Twins made some roster moves earlier Friday.

Drew Rucinski had
an impressive K/9
rate for Rochester
before his callup.
Replacing Kyle Gibson on the pitching staff is Drew Rucinski, a right-hander who has 14.1 major league innings on his resume, all with the Angels The Twins signed him as a minor-league free agent after he spent 2016 getting pounded with the Cubs' Triple A affiliate (5.92 ERA). He's been pitching most relief in Rochester. I don't expect much.

They also activated Ehire Adrianza off the disabled list. And they DFA'd Danny Santana, a move that both opened a 40-man roster spot for Rucinski and an active roster spot for Adrianza.

Santana's departure comes immediately after one of his better games; he homered and had a bunt single on Thursday. "What have you done for me lately?" apparently wasn't prominent in the front office's decision making.

Adrianza played a handful of games in the outfield in Rochester, which was a sign the Twins were eyeing Santana's roster spot and limited role for him. Adrianza is by reputation a superior gloveman in the infield but a light hitter -- not that Santana, despite Thursday's long ball, is a particularly good batsman.

Meanwhile, Bryon Buxton sat Friday with headaches after three collisions with the outfield fence drove him from the game on Thursday. The Twins report that he has otherwise cleared the concussion protocol, but we should remember that Buxton had a signficant concussion a few years ago in the minors. I suspect a trip to the concussion DL is in his future.

And Brian Dozier twisted an ankle Friday. He stayed in the game but was pinch-hit for just before Mauer's homer. Upshot: there may be more roster moves ahead.


  1. I wish I were confident that we'll never see Santana or Gibson ever again in a Twins uniform.