• What does the Twins roster shake-up mean?

    The Twins needed to make some kind of change during the All-Star break after the team scuffled in the weeks leading up to the Mid-Summer Classic. There were going to be some players sent packing to Rochester and some fresh faces on the MLB roster. It had to happen.

    There has been pressure on multiple people in the Twins organization to find a way to be respectable in 2013. Ron Gardenhire is in the last year of his contract and he needs to show the organization something so they'll renew his contract. Terry Ryan had a hand in putting together this roster and he needs to see some of the talent translate into performance.

    Coming out of the All-Star break, there will be a few new names on the bench and in the lineup. Maybe these new faces will help the team win a few more games. Overall, this wasn't a team that was going to be fighting for a World Series crown so all their moves need to be focused on the future.

    Here is a look at the players who were demoted and what the future might hold for each of them.

    Oswaldo Arcia
    Season (59 Games): .257/.317/.408, 6 HR, 11 2B, 25 RBI, 63 SO
    Last Month (22 Games): .262/.319/.676, 2 HR, 2 2B, 10 RBI, 26 SO
    The Future: A few weeks ago, it looked like Arcia was one of the front-runners for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. A lot has changed in the last couple weeks. Over that time, he hit .108/.132/.108 with 16 strikeouts in 37 at-bats. There was no power from Arcia and one wonders if there was some kind of injury bothering him or maybe he was embarrassed about taking a pop-fly to the face. He is too valuable to be at the big league level and not getting consistent at-bats. Something had to be done to get him focused at the plate.

    Arcia is still only 22-years old and he has only a little over 100 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. It might be good for him to get a month or so in the minors. This can give him a chance to get his head back on straight because the Twins need him for the next few years. Chris Herrmann will get some of the at-bats vacated by Arcia and he figures to also be in the Twins rebuilding plans. This gives the club a chance to see a little more of Herrmann at the big league level. Arcia's power-hitting ability should be a staple in the Twins lineup as the team tries to rebuild but something just wasn't right going into the All-Star break.

    Eduardo Escobar
    Season (55 Games): .214/.268/.328, 3 HR, 2 2B, 9 RBI, 23 SO
    Last Month (11 Games): .120/.154/.240, 1 HR, 0 2B, 1 RBI, 7 SO

    The Future
    : Escobar surprised a lot of people with his performance in the first month of the season. He wasn't an everyday starter but he hit .378/.395/.541 with three extra-base hits in 38 plate appearances. Minnesota has struggled at different points of the first half to find production from the shortstop role. Pedro Florimon had a rough start to the season and Escobar did a decent job filling in when he was asked to do so.

    The Twins are basically swapping out the 24-year old Escobar for 33-year old infielder Doug Bernier. In 92 games for Rochester, Bernier was hitting .295/.370/.407 with 15 doubles. It seems there is more of a chance for Escobar to have a long-term role as a utility man for the Twins. He is younger than Bernier by almost a decade but age didn't stop the Twins from making the move. This demotion will allow Escobar to get more playing time at Rochester and then the Twins can see where he fits into their plans. Now the Twins have aging veterans Jamey Carroll and Bernier as back-up infielders. Maybe they can swap "back in my day" stories on the bench.

    Chris Parmelee
    Season (83 Games): .223/.303/.372, 8 HR, 12 2B, 20 RBI, 66 SO
    Last Month (22 Games): .222/.306/.444, 3 HR, 5 2B, 6 RBI, 20 SO

    The Future:
    This was supposed to be a make-or-break season for Parmelee. Things haven't worked out in his favor. He has struggled to make consistent contact at the plate and the power he showed in the minors hasn't translated to the big leagues. Some of his struggles might be due to playing most of his games in the outfield after being used more as a first baseman in the upper minors. The Twins still have time to figure out his position and some of his challenges in the batter's box. Maybe a couple weeks at Triple-A will wake up his swing since he had an OPS of 1.102 last season in Rochester.

    Since it seems likely Justin Morneau will be in a different uniform by the end of the month, one might think Parmelee would be the man to take over first base. It now seems more likely Chris Colabello will get most playing time at the corner infield spot. Colabello got a brief taste of the big leagues earlier this year and he continues to be a force in the minors. Last year he was one of the top five players in the Eastern League and this season he is in the discussion for the best player in the International League. His batting line of .354/.432/.652 with 24 home runs and 24 doubles looks like video game numbers.
    This article was originally published in blog: What does the Twins roster shake-up mean? started by Cody Christie
    Comments 19 Comments
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      I'm curious that you say Justin Morneau will likely be in a different uniform by the end of the month. I'm sure the Twins would like to receive offers, but most of the threads I've followed assume that not much will be offered for him. I would have guessed that there was a better chance he is still a Twin in August than he would not be. Next year, of course, is an entirely different matter...
    1. MichiganTwins's Avatar
      MichiganTwins -
      I think the FO was not very positive toward the idea of resigning Morneau (when Morneau and his agent approach the Twins) so some have suggested that the Twins might trade Morneau.
    1. blairpaul715's Avatar
      blairpaul715 -
      Really!!!??? We are going to send down Arcia and Parmalee instead of giving them everyday jobs for he rest of the year, to see if they can make adjustments? I don't see the value in sending them down in another lost year. As far as Escobar goes, he is a utility guy anyways as is Floriman , in my opinion , so why not give a taste to Santana , instead of a 33 yr old minor leaguer that you have no plans for. Im just lost on this. In my opinion, if we give up on Parmalee, he will be good for someone, can see the talent there.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      It's a fine line between the overly-quoted "no scholarships" position and "let's see what the young guys have got". Parmelee seems to be falling on the wrong side of that line with his demotion.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Good article, points well made. I'm on the fence regarding whether or not Morneau will be traded. Just because the Twins are hesitant to give Morneau a mid-season extension, doesn't mean a trade is imminent, however, it does point that way.
    1. troyhobbs's Avatar
      troyhobbs -
      I agree that sending these guys down in a lost year is silly. Calabello deserves a call up but not sure I'd send more than 1 of those 3 down unless transactions are in the works. What's up with all the IFs and only 2 OFs?
    1. powrwrap's Avatar
      powrwrap -
      Parmelee and Arcia being sent down is a message the Twins FO is sending to these guys. Just because the Twins have a dearth of OFers doesn't mean your job is secure.

      Parmelee has had plenty of major league AB's and I think it has been determined that he is a great AAAA ballplayer. Personally, I hope I never see him in a Twins uniform again. I see nothing wrong with bringing Colabello up and plugging him into the lineup for 2-3 weeks or so. It's a lost season, let's see if he can leave AAAA ball and be a major leaguer.

      Arcia needs to settle down, relax, and find his swing again. It's obvious he's pressing and trying to do too much at the plate. A stint at AAA will be therapeutic.

      I'm OK with giving Bernier his cup of coffee. Why not?

      I think the Twins will try to trade Morneau, find no offers, and then try to re-sign him for 2 more years at a discount. It's unlikely he will sign, the temptation to see what the free market would bring will be too tempting. He could always test the waters and come back to the Twins.

      I really think that Jamie Carroll is the most likely Twin to be traded.
    1. dakotanative's Avatar
      dakotanative -
      I have been a die hard Twins fan since 1965 when a team of Twins coaches came to my home town of Minot ND and in the old cement ballpark with a 500' centerfield fence game us a skills clinic. I was 12 at the time and I have been a faithful follower since. Over the years I have seen different waves of talent come forth from the minors or in trades. The most memorable being the wave from the early 1980s that brought us Hrbek, Viola, Puckett, etc. and two world championships. I remember the wave that came with Becker, Banks, Stahoviak, etc. - man what a failure. Of course I assume most of us know the Hunter, Lawton, Guzman wave, which was augmented with Santana, Mauer and Morneau. Well, except for the last extended wave all previous waves were proceeded by losing teams and changing economics and, unfortunately, we are in a losing trough now. From my 48 year vantage point we are looking at what may be the finest group of talented prospects the Twins have ever produced. I see Ryan and the organization sifting that young talent, looking for a many gold nuggets. Nuggets that mature into solid major league players. Thus far the ones being sent down are being sifted. How do they respond? Can they take instruction and get their heads back on? Do they have the character to mature into professional major leaguers? I agree with what Ryan is doing. I am a retired Marine and I earned that title. Being a Major League Baseball Player is a title that must be earned and not given away. If there is any fight in these players they will respond and come back is be productive major league players.

      Trust me this this will continue with Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Rosario, etc. until they earn the right to stay. How many tips to the minors did it take Hunter to grow into a major leaguer? It is better to taste the major leagues, fail, be sent down to learn and then come back to test what you learned, than to play everyday in the majors and to continue to fail without a chance to clear your head. Baseball is littered with talented players who needed a break, but were not given it and failed as a result. Not every prospect will be a Joe Mauer or Kent Hrbek. Most will be like Hunter if they are going to make it.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by dakotanative View Post
      I have been a die hard Twins fan since 1965 when a team of Twins coaches came to my home town of Minot ND and in the old cement ballpark with a 500' centerfield fence game us a skills clinic. I was 12 at the time and I have been a faithful follower since. Over the years I have seen different waves of talent come forth from the minors or in trades. The most memorable being the wave from the early 1980s that brought us Hrbek, Viola, Puckett, etc. and two world championships. I remember the wave that came with Becker, Banks, Stahoviak, etc. - man what a failure. Of course I assume most of us know the Hunter, Lawton, Guzman wave, which was augmented with Santana, Mauer and Morneau. Well, except for the last extended wave all previous waves were proceeded by losing teams and changing economics and, unfortunately, we are in a losing trough now. From my 48 year vantage point we are looking at what may be the finest group of talented prospects the Twins have ever produced. I see Ryan and the organization sifting that young talent, looking for a many gold nuggets. Nuggets that mature into solid major league players. Thus far the ones being sent down are being sifted. How do they respond? Can they take instruction and get their heads back on? Do they have the character to mature into professional major leaguers? I agree with what Ryan is doing. I am a retired Marine and I earned that title. Being a Major League Baseball Player is a title that must be earned and not given away. If there is any fight in these players they will respond and come back is be productive major league players.

      Trust me this this will continue with Sano, Buxton, Meyer, Rosario, etc. until they earn the right to stay. How many tips to the minors did it take Hunter to grow into a major leaguer? It is better to taste the major leagues, fail, be sent down to learn and then come back to test what you learned, than to play everyday in the majors and to continue to fail without a chance to clear your head. Baseball is littered with talented players who needed a break, but were not given it and failed as a result. Not every prospect will be a Joe Mauer or Kent Hrbek. Most will be like Hunter if they are going to make it.
      I don't remember that game being played with Hunter. As I remember it, he had a pinch running game one year, and that's it. Barely sniffed the team the next (I think due to injury), then from then it was on. I probably remember incorrectly though, I was out of the country at around that time.
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Quote Originally Posted by IowaTwins View Post
      I think the FO was not very positive toward the idea of resigning Morneau (when Morneau and his agent approach the Twins) so some have suggested that the Twins might trade Morneau.
      And I would have no problem with that. My only point was that you probably won't get much for him, and at some point you have to ask if the limited return even justifies a trade. It's not that they won't try to trade him, but they may not be able to.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      Quote Originally Posted by powrwrap View Post
      I think the Twins will try to trade Morneau, find no offers, and then try to re-sign him for 2 more years at a discount. It's unlikely he will sign, the temptation to see what the free market would bring will be too tempting. He could always test the waters and come back to the Twins.

      I really think that Jamie Carroll is the most likely Twin to be traded.
      This is how I see it, too. After Morneau hits FA the 80% rule on salary reduction will no longer apply, and then I could see Ryan making a lower multi-year offer.
    1. SpiritofVodkaDave's Avatar
      SpiritofVodkaDave -
      Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
      This is how I see it, too. After Morneau hits FA the 80% rule on salary reduction will no longer apply, and then I could see Ryan making a lower multi-year offer.
      That makes sense and is probably why the Twins have told Morneau they aren't interested in discussing an extension yet.

      As far as Arcia and Parmelee go.

      1. Parmelee needs to figure it out soon or he is going to be eventually let go. You can't have a guy with no real defensive value continue to have a sub .700 OPS. He has had almost 500 PA the last two years and has a .228 BA, a sub .300 OBP and only 13 HR. I like the kid and hope he can turn it around, but production like that isn't exactly hard to find.

      2. Arcia is lost at the plate, in his last 16 at bats he had 11 strike outs. Clearly something is up with his swing, give it a week or two of mashing at AAA and working out the kinks and he will be back up soon enough. They need to do whats best long term for Arcia and I think this is prob the best bet. He has a pretty putrid line in his last 15 games as well, 22K in 59 AB and a .432 OPS (with a non horrible .297 BABIP)

      Arcia will be back.

      It doesn't hurt to give these other guys a cup of coffee, especially a potential Garrett Jones type in Collabero. It would be nice to see him produce and become our 25th roster spot guy next year as a bat off the bench/DH/1B depth.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Is it really that difficult to spell Parmelee's name right? Typos are one thing...
    1. dakotanative's Avatar
      dakotanative -
      Remember the game well. Here is a summary of where he played through the 2000 season. When he went down at the beginning of the 2000 season he tore up triple A pitching. I think they pissed him off after he spent all of the previous season on the big club. Regardless, he came back motivated and has had a fine career as a result.

      Year Age Tm Lg G PA
      1993 17 MIN-min Rk 28 114
      1994 18 MIN-min A 91 372
      1995 19 MIN-min A+ 113 447
      1996 20 MIN-min AA,A+ 103 405
      1997 21 MIN-min AA 127 528
      1997 21 MIN AL 1 0
      1998 22 MIN-min AA,AAA 108 435
      1998 22 MIN AL 6 19
      1999 23 MIN AL 135 422
      2000 24 MIN-min AAA 55 227
      2000 24 MIN AL 99 358
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by powrwrap View Post
      I think the Twins will try to trade Morneau, find no offers, and then try to re-sign him for 2 more years at a discount.
      I think there is a CBA limit to how much of a cut (20%?) they can offer him while he is still under contract. Once he goes into free agency, then any agreed-upon contract can be signed, but of course any of the 29 other teams can offer something too, and by the time the player has reached that point, he may as well listen.
    1. Jim H's Avatar
      Jim H -
      I suspect that the recent moves are probably a short term thing. Likely, Ryan wouldn't mind trading Carroll, Doumit and Thomas. None can figure in the long term plans and might not even fit next year. In order to trade those guys, they need to play until the trade deadline or until they are traded. So you send down Arcia, Parmelee and Escobar and let these 3 play nearly everyday.

      These guys won't likely fetch much in a trade, but Ryan has found useful pieces in trades like this before. So, I would root for Thomas, Carroll and Doumit to have a hot couple of weeks and see if Ryan can make an interesting trade for a couple of these guys. Certainly, all three could be useful to a contender in the right circumstances.
    1. crarko's Avatar
      crarko -
      The Phillies need a center fielder again short term; Thomas plays center field.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by crarko View Post
      The Phillies need a center fielder again short term; Thomas plays center field.
      I like the way you think.
    1. Cris E's Avatar
      Cris E -
      Arcia got hit on the hand back on July 6 and had to come out of that game. Since then he's 1-22 with twelve of those strikeouts. He's clearly hurt. He wasn't exactly tearing it up in the weeks before then, but there's no chance for him to get through this until the hand is better. I'm guessing the difference between AAA and the DL was just service time, but that's just speculation.
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