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  • Arcia's Short Promotion Speaks Volumes

    According to the Star Tribune's Phil Miller, the Twins have elected to call up red-hot prospect Oswaldo Arcia from Triple-A. It appears that Arcia's major-league debut will be a brief one just a few days while backup outfielder Wilkin Ramirez is away for the birth of his child but still the decision carries many levels of intrigue.

    Arcia is an exciting yet curious choice as a roster fill-in. Typically in a situation like this, a team will simply call up a body to provide depth, especially when the departing player is a fifth outfielder. Instead, the Twins have opted for one of their top prospects, a fast-tracked 21-year-old with 78 games of experience above Single-A.

    Arcia will likely be in the starting lineup on Monday and for the rest of the Angels series; you don't call a player like this up to put him on the bench. He'll become the youngest player to debut for the Twins since Joe Mauer back in 2004.


    I can't imagine the Twins will play Arcia in center, so,if I'm correct, subbing him for Aaron Hicks isn't really an option. That means Ron Gardenhire will have to shuffle his lineup around a bit to find room for the hot prospect. Maybe Gardenhire will have him spell Chris Parmelee in right field one day, then try him in left while sliding Willingham to DH the next. Meanwhile, a Rochester team that's gotten off to a rough start loses its best hitter for a short spell.

    Seems like a lot of to-do when the kid is only going to be up for three days, but this is clearly signifies that the Twins want to get a look at Arcia in the majors, and now. It also might be a sign that they're looking to sway the public sentiment surrounding their product.

    With depressing mid-April snow showering the Twin Cities, the organization has been weathering an early-season storm of its own. The team has tanked after a nice start, with five straight losses marked by dreadful starting pitching, frustrating miscues in the field and repeated missed opportunities at the plate. Their heralded rookie center fielder has been an unmitigated disaster. They've also been dealing with painfully low turnout and blowback from their batting practice PR blunder.

    The Twins needed some sort of positive spark to turn the tide, and while this likely wasn't the driving factor in Arcia's promotion, it's an unmistakable side benefit. After impressing coaches in spring training (I heard rumblings in Ft. Myers of Gardenhire's adoration), the young outfielder has opened his season in Rochester by obliterating Triple-A pitching, with a .414/.500/.793 hitting line to go along with three homers and eight RBI through nine games. While some prospects in the lower minors have gotten off to good starts, Arcia is knocking on the door at the highest level and is clearly the system's headliner right now.

    And so the club will take advantage of this opportunity to showcase that headliner, if only for one series. The question that now arises is this: What do the Twins do if Arcia comes up and absolutely rakes for three games? Sending him back down negates the good vibes created by his hopefully auspicious arrival yet there's no path to long-term regular playing time with the big-league club. Willingham and Parmelee are locked into the outfield corners, and Doumit is going to get the majority of at-bats at DH.

    Of course, this wouldn't necessarily be a bad problem to have. Rather than seeking to downplay any stir created by Arcia's fast start and the disappointing early returns from the lineup, the Twins are actively fanning the flames, especially if the rook makes an impact at Target Field this week.

    Maybe that's the whole point. A message is being sent not only to Arcia, whose thunderous bat is being noticed and rewarded, but also to the players in the Twins' lineup who have been scuffling early on.
    This article was originally published in blog: Arcia's Short Promotion Speaks Volumes started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 61 Comments
    1. cmathewson's Avatar
      cmathewson -
      The main reason it's him is they need an outfielder and a bat and the only other option on the 40 man is Joe Benson, who's been about as cold as Aaron Hicks to start the season.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Like HicKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKs doesn't need spelled for a while? Why not let him watch for a while. It is pretty obvious that he needs some time in AAA anyway.
    1. jm3319's Avatar
      jm3319 -
      "Sending him back down negates the good vibes created by his auspicious arrival, and yet there's no path to long-term regular playing time with the big-league club"

      uhhh what about sending Hicks down to take Arcia's spot in AAA? Seems to make too much sense (assuming Arcia shows he can handle the bigs already. A big assumption at this point).
    1. Snortwood's Avatar
      Snortwood -
      It's too early to state the case is definitive but I can't help thinking of Billy Beane's career as a player every time Hicks comes to the plate. Top draft pick, great athlete, good enough at every level and great in bp but a deer in the headlights when the game is on. Hope that isn't the case, but it wouldn't be the first time it happened to a player.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      Well......... we don't know if HicKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKs is good enough for AAA yet, either, do we?
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by jm3319 View Post

      uhhh what about sending Hicks down to take Arcia's spot in AAA? Seems to make too much sense (assuming Arcia shows he can handle the bigs already. A big assumption at this point).
      Arcia is not a center fielder.
    1. TRex's Avatar
      TRex -
      Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but what has Ozzy done to get the 'not-so-nice' reputation as mercurial (subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind)? I know it was reported that his confident air rubbed some opponents the wrong way, but when I think of mercurial, I think of Albert Belle or Milton Bradley!
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Quote Originally Posted by TRex View Post
      Maybe I haven't been paying attention, but what has Ozzy done to get the 'not-so-nice' reputation as mercurial (subject to sudden or unpredictable changes of mood or mind)? I know it was reported that his confident air rubbed some opponents the wrong way, but when I think of mercurial, I think of Albert Belle or Milton Bradley!
      I was referring to his status, not his personality, and meant it more in the "lively and volatile" sense. He's gone from Single-A to the big-league roster in less than a year.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      The promotion is a reward for working hard. No scholarship
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Yeah, I was also wondering why you called him a mercurial prospect. (I think Delmon Young...or Zack Greinke?)

      It's kind of sad that at this point I view this Arcia as a "how are the Twins going to screw this up" kind of situation. They are developing a pattern of messing up the latter stages of players development pretty badly with yo-yoing call-ups/demotions.

      Arcia has raked at every level though, so hopefully that pattern will be "Twins management-proof."

      (By the way, I thought Brunansky was supposed to work wonders with struggling batters? If so, he better start focusing on Hicksie quick!)
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Arcia is indeed a CF at some level. The question is how much it costs in the field compared to the improvement he brings at the plate. To me Delmon Young was almost absolutely worthless because he gave up doubles and singles in left field that would have been outs, and I don't think its magnitude was properly accounted for.

      Regardless, Arcia's been DHing at AAA, so I suspect that's his role here this week.
    1. beckmt's Avatar
      beckmt -
      This is a start. See what he can do. If he gets off to a good start, it will be a nice problem to have.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      IMO, if he plays well and they send him down, it will actually be worse for PR. But I suspect there will be plenty of opportunities for this FO to successfully perfrom PR, and to blunder PR, the rest of the season. since the team is likely to stink, the future is what they need to sell now. Given that there are zero position players other than Arcia in AAA, and maybe 1 pitcher there, I'm not sure what they are going to do to fire up this fan base that does not involve both of them.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Actually Arcia will only play today and tomorrow (assuming the games are played). Ramirez will be back on Wednesday (at least he will be back on the roster). He was placed on the paternity list after Satuday's game and can only be gone 3 days (not games): Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). So Arcia's stint will be 2 games.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      If he absolutely rakes, they'll keep him up for a bit and juggle him, Parm and Doumit in the RF/DH spots until he cools down or they trade Morneau/Willingham. If he's just solid, they'll move him down.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I've been a huge Arcia fan for a long time.
      He is hitting better at AAA than Hicks did in AA. A lot better.
      Yes, it's a small sample size, but he has hit at EVERY level better than Hicks did.

      I think it's great to have him up. Hope Gardy plays him. Here is where it could get sticky:
      1. He comes up and is excellent
      2. gets sent down
      3. continues to crush AAA pitching

      Once on the radar fans will be anxious to get him back if they think he can help.

      Still, I like this move. The kid has certainly earned it. Where does he play? RF.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      Actually Arcia will only play today and tomorrow (assuming the games are played). Ramirez will be back on Wednesday (at least he will be back on the roster). He was placed on the paternity list after Satuday's game and can only be gone 3 days (not games): Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). So Arcia's stint will be 2 games.
      From the ESPN1500 article 'It's still unclear how long Arcia will be with the team. Paternity list rules state the player must miss the first game immediately after being placed on the list and is allowed to miss up to three games before he must be reinstated onto the roster.'
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      Actually Arcia will only play today and tomorrow (assuming the games are played). Ramirez will be back on Wednesday (at least he will be back on the roster). He was placed on the paternity list after Satuday's game and can only be gone 3 days (not games): Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). So Arcia's stint will be 2 games.
      Early in spring training I gave Arcia the best chance to make the club, then he got injured. I'm glad he'll get a taste of it now, but it's only a couple of games, or possibly three. Everything I've read here is of the premise of "if he rakes, or tears it up". Most likely he won't. He's going to be in front of crowds never seen before, in lousy weather, excited and with the jitters, and possibly catching the "can't hit itis" from the rest of the squad. So if he goes 1-10 or so, at least he'll get a taste, and when he does come back in warmer weather in a couple months I think he'll be fine. I just don't expect much with all the pressure in this situation. I'm hoping though.
    1. SurroundedByTigers's Avatar
      SurroundedByTigers -
      Arcia's job is to force the Twins to make a tough decision. If he hits, he stays. There's no other way around it, especially if the Twins get pounded a couple more times by the Angels. The big message that Arcia's arrival sends throughout the organization is that there are jobs available at the Big League level. I expect more young talent to be fast-tracked through the system. If the Twins are going to lose, at least do it with the young studs. That means guys like Sano and Rosario have a chance to make it to the bigs this year.
    1. twinscowboysbulls's Avatar
      twinscowboysbulls -
      I mean, they could definitely find playing time for him if he deserves it. I guess if that happened, they would send Hicks down and give the starting CF job to Mastro. Hicks could spend time DH'ing, playing LF/RF and being the emergency CF. This would cut down on at-bats for guys like Parmalee, Willingham and Doumit though. I wouldn't be too upset if Doumit is missing some at-bats though with the way he has been swinging it. Ideally, you would like to hold off on the Arcia train until June-ish, when we could deal Willy or Morneau if Parmalee proves he can hit at this level.
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