Thursday, August 10, 2017

In the world of Big Sexy

Twins Twitter, always in need of a distraction, got caught up Wednesday in the revelation that Joe Mauer, given the opportunity to put a nickname on the back of his jersey for a weekend, went with "Mauer."

There are a handful of guys on every team who decided not to play along. It's easy for me to imagine Mauer saying to himself when given the paperwork: What name do I want on the back of my jersey? My name. 

In truth, if MLB's marketers could unilaterally assign a nickname to a member of the Twins -- and the whole Players Weekend thing is about selling jerseys -- it wouldn't be Mauer. It would be Bartolo Colon, who will have "Morales" on his Players Weekend jersey rather than the far more lucrative "Big Sexy."

Colon threw seven scoreless innings Wednesday night at Milwaukee, which is pretty lucrative itself. I didn't give this Colon experiment any real chance of success; I was wrong. Five starts into his Twins tenure, the 44-year-old has a 4.02 ERA in 31.1 innings. He's pitching deeper into games on average than Adalberto Mejia, and with a lower ERA.

Meanwhile, the roster games continue. The injured Mejia -- no structural damage found in his MRI, so he'll likely be back in September if not sooner -- was replaced on the roster Wednesday not by Hector Santiago, as I expected, but by Kennys Vargas. And immediately after the game Vargas was returned to Rochester for Dietrich Enns, one of the pitchers acquired from the Yankees last month when the Twins flipped Jaime Garcia.

Enns is to start today against the Brewers, which will make him Twins pitcher No. 31 on the season. Will he stick? My track record at roster prediction this year is pretty poor, but my guess is one-and-done. He'll shuffle back to Rochester after making his major league debut for a fresh arm.

Which won't be Santiago. He started Tuesday for the Redwings and walked six men in 4.1 innings, which isn't going to make the Twins hasten to bring him off his rehab assignment. (It expires in two weeks anyway.)

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