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  • Finding Room For Arcia

    A right wrist injury that bothered Oswaldo Arcia late in the 2013 season flared up again earlier this month, causing the young outfielder to miss a couple weeks of action just as his season was getting started.

    Now, Arcia is by all accounts ready to put the wrist ailment behind him. He took batting practice on Target Field without incident Friday and then headed to Rochester, where he began his rehab assignment by going 3-for-3 as the DH on Saturday. He played six more innings Sunday.

    It looks like Arcia is almost ready to return. But are the Twins ready for him?

    The offense has been surprisingly productive in Arcia's absence, thanks in large part to contributions from Jason Kubel, Chris Colabello and Josmil Pinto. Those three have been regularly occupying the corner outfield and DH spots, leaving no obvious landing spot for Arcia when he comes off the disabled list.

    In the big picture, you can certainly argue that Arcia is more important to the team's offensive success than any of Kubel, Colabello and Pinto, but right now there is -- dare I say? -- a logjam of quality bats.

    Could the hard-swinging 22-year-old be left in Triple-A when he's activated from the DL?

    Arcia's emphatic reaction after a key late-game triple in the season-opening series against the White Sox will go down as one of the month's highlights, but he hadn't done much outside of that in early action. In 18 plate appearances, he had six strikeouts, one walk and two hits.

    That's obviously too small a sample to base much on, but he was swinging out of his shoes a bit, and now he's coming back from a prolonged absence, so the Twins might just want to see him demonstrate in Rochester for a while longer that he's got his timing and he has reined in his swing.

    He needs to be playing every day and right now that would be hard to accomplish without drastically altering a formula that's working in Minnesota.

    Josmil Pinto has been one of the team's best hitters and he should probably stick mostly at DH for now, since his defense has been erratic and Kurt Suzuki has been very good all-around behind the plate.

    Condensing Jason Kubel and Chris Colabello into a platoon in left field is an option. That would make sense for Kubel, who is characteristically struggling against southpaws with a .192 average, but Colabello has actually been better against righties, as is typical for him.

    Also, how do you demote a guy who has been as crucial to your offense -- and as unbelievably fun to watch -- as Colabello to a part-time role? The Twins essentially have to keeping riding him unless he cools off substantially.

    If one of the players currently in the mix gets hurt or hits a wall, or if Arcia rakes in Triple-A to a degree that it's no longer palatable to keep him there, a switch can be made quickly.

    Right now, the Twins are in a position where they can afford to be very patient with their uber-talented young slugger. One thing they cannot afford to do is put him back on the MLB roster if he won't be playing almost every day.
    Comments 83 Comments
    1. frightwig's Avatar
      frightwig -
      Arcia last year: 6.1 BB%, 31.0 K%. To start this season: 5.3 BB%, 31.6 K%.

      "Swinging out of his shoes" seems to be what he does. Although his slash lines throughout his minor league career have been impressive, by his performance in the majors it still looks like it would do him a lot of good to spend more time at AAA and really work on his plate discipline. And as long as Pinto, Kubel and Colabello are taking care of business in the Twins lineup, now's the perfect time for Arcia to do some woodshedding in Rochester.
    1. blindeke's Avatar
      blindeke -
      If some of the Twins' patient approach to at-bats would rub off on Arcia, that'd be awesome.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by frightwig View Post
      Arcia last year: 6.1 BB%, 31.0 K%. To start this season: 5.3 BB%, 31.6 K%.

      "Swinging out of his shoes" seems to be what he does. Although his slash lines throughout his minor league career have been impressive, by his performance in the majors it still looks like it would do him a lot of good to spend more time at AAA and really work on his plate discipline. And as long as Pinto, Kubel and Colabello are taking care of business in the Twins lineup, now's the perfect time for Arcia to do some woodshedding in Rochester.
      "Woodshedding" is about right! Amen.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      (Arcia) headed to Rochester, where he began his rehab assignment by going 3-for-3 as the DH on Saturday. He played six more innings Sunday.
      Is there anything to be read into Arcia getting pulled in both of his games after 3 PAs this weekend and not playing in the OF on Saturday ? Is he really 100% yet or not?

      The Twins could use another LH bat, but Arcia wasn't delivering when he was active. I argued that he should have been sent down right when they broke camp. He still has a lot to work on, at the plate and in the OF. As long as there are other options producing, there's no need to rush. If anything, if they do need that additional LH bat, Parmelee might better fill the bill than Arcia at this point.
    1. Don't Feed the Greed Guy's Avatar
      Don't Feed the Greed Guy -
      "Josmil Pinto has been one of the team's best hitters and he should probably stick mostly at DH for now, since his defense has been erratic and Kurt Suzuki has been very good all-around behind the plate."

      I would tend to respectfully disagree for a couple of reasons:

      1) Pinto's future is behind the plate. His defense can't be as atrocious as some of Colabello's miscues. Using Pinto as the DH effectively puts either Arcia, Kubel, or Colabello on the bench.

      2) Suzuki has certainly not shown himself as an exemplary handler of Twins' starting pitching. He caught Kevin Coreia's abysmal start last Friday, when the starters' cumulative ERA ballooned to 6.32. Remember last year when Twins starters paced the AL by giving up 5.26 runs/game? Where's Ryan Doumit when you need him???

      Seriously, Suzuki has started 16 games at the catcher position. Pinto has started seven games as the Twins backstop. I would like to see those numbers flip-flopped in May, thus providing more opportunities to put Pinto's bat (12.2 HR's/AB for 4th in the AL & 5th in the AL in BB) in the lineup--along with Kubel, Cola, and Arcia--with Kubel sitting against virtually every lefthander.
    1. mudcat14's Avatar
      mudcat14 -
      I think you can afford to let Arcia get going everyday at Rochester, until he forces your hand. The BoSox are getting desperate for OF offense. Maybe if Kubel is still hitting in a couple of weeks, he could pry someone from their deep farm system. For some season, I've always been a fan of Deven Marrero.
    1. Otwins's Avatar
      Otwins -
      Don't forget Willingham as your are working this puzzle. I think you have to send Arcia to AAA.
      He can work on his defense and his approach at the plate. These things have a way of working themselves out. Someone will slump or get injured.
    1. Twins Twerp's Avatar
      Twins Twerp -
      Good problem to have. How about arcia in center? Might be the worst defensive of ever...like in history...but they sure would hit some dingers like kent murphy #checkoutthisvideo http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ctFf91EUUTw
    1. howeda7's Avatar
      howeda7 -
      Colabello's regression is already happening. I think the original plan of Kubel/Collabello platooning at DH is eventually the way to go. Hammer/Pinto/Suzuki/Collabello should play against lefties, Kubel/Arcia/Pinto and one of Collabello/Willlingham against righties.
    1. twinstalker's Avatar
      twinstalker -
      Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
      Colabello's regression is already happening. I think the original plan of Kubel/Collabello platooning at DH is eventually the way to go. Hammer/Pinto/Suzuki/Collabello should play against lefties, Kubel/Arcia/Pinto and one of Collabello/Willlingham against righties.
      I always love it when people forget who is managing.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Hey, the Twins hitters are learning a new patient approach....maybe Gardy can learn a new trick too?
    1. blindeke's Avatar
      blindeke -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      Hey, the Twins hitters are learning a new patient approach....maybe Gardy can learn a new trick too?
      Anything is possible.
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      Quote Originally Posted by howeda7 View Post
      Colabello's regression is already happening.
      I'm sad about this news.

      Waking up at 6AM and finding this out is gonna be a bad start to my day.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      I'd like to see Pinto take over primary catching, Colabello take over DH, and Arcia and Kubel in the outfield corners, until Hammer is ready to come back. Then send Arcia to AAA to work on the tutelage from Bruno until Hammer can be traded.
    1. kblack1011's Avatar
      kblack1011 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Don't Feed the Greed Guy View Post
      "Josmil Pinto has been one of the team's best hitters and he should probably stick mostly at DH for now, since his defense has been erratic and Kurt Suzuki has been very good all-around behind the plate."

      I would tend to respectfully disagree for a couple of reasons:

      1) Pinto's future is behind the plate. His defense can't be as atrocious as some of Colabello's miscues. Using Pinto as the DH effectively puts either Arcia, Kubel, or Colabello on the bench.

      2) Suzuki has certainly not shown himself as an exemplary handler of Twins' starting pitching. He caught Kevin Coreia's abysmal start last Friday, when the starters' cumulative ERA ballooned to 6.32. Remember last year when Twins starters paced the AL by giving up 5.26 runs/game? Where's Ryan Doumit when you need him???

      Seriously, Suzuki has started 16 games at the catcher position. Pinto has started seven games as the Twins backstop. I would like to see those numbers flip-flopped in May, thus providing more opportunities to put Pinto's bat (12.2 HR's/AB for 4th in the AL & 5th in the AL in BB) in the lineup--along with Kubel, Cola, and Arcia--with Kubel sitting against virtually every lefthander.
      I agree that we need to see Pinto more behind the plate and this would open up AB's at DH. To activate Arcia, I would like them to send Hicks down. If anyone needs more time in AAA, it would be Hicks.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Arcia and Pinto need to play every day for development, Hammer needs to play every day to build trade bait, Colabello and Kubel have been the best hitters on the team, but their value comes only to this team in the here and now.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by kblack1011 View Post
      I agree that we need to see Pinto more behind the plate and this would open up AB's at DH. To activate Arcia, I would like them to send Hicks down. If anyone needs more time in AAA, it would be Hicks.
      Sure Hicks needs more development time in AAA, but then who's your back up center fielder? Fuld is fine as the 4th outfielder, and can take over starting CF duties for a DL stint, but he isn't going to hold up over a month or two. His hitting is a statistical anomaly.
    1. sorney's Avatar
      sorney -
      Quote Originally Posted by Sconnie View Post
      I'd like to see Pinto take over primary catching, Colabello take over DH, and Arcia and Kubel in the outfield corners, until Hammer is ready to come back. Then send Arcia to AAA to work on the tutelage from Bruno until Hammer can be traded.
      Wouldn't it be better to work WITH Bruno than sending him to AAA to work away from him??
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Pinto behind the plate more, Suzuki on the bench more. Arcia is part of the future and present, they should really bench him for Kurt Suzuki? Really?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by sorney View Post
      Wouldn't it be better to work WITH Bruno than sending him to AAA to work away from him??
      Don't the Twins have access to Skype?
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