• Valencia Optioned to Rochester (More Moves, Maloney, Mastroianni, Walters)

    Immediately following the Twins loss tonight against the Angels, the team announced that they had optioned 3B Danny Valencia and Designated LHP Matt Maloney for Assignment. The selected the contract of RHP PJ Walters and OF/2B Darin Mastroianni.

    Valencia has really struggled with the bat and glove throughout the season, and yet the timing here is a little surprising. The hope would be that he is able to figure things out down in Rochester and come back and resume his role as the team's starting 3B.

    Maloney had a solid spring training, but really has struggled in the season's first five weeks.

    Mastroianni started the season by struggling for two weeks in New Britain (AA), but he has been hitting nearly .360 through three weeks with AAA Rochester, playing LF and some 2B. He has ten stolen bases with the Red Wings, including stealing home on Monday. He will likely be with the Twins in time to play his former organization, the Toronto Blue Jays.

    PJ Walters played for the Blue Jays and Cardinals last year and was part of the big July trade between the teams. He has posted a 3-1 record with a 2.70 ERA in AAA. He will start on Saturday against the Blue Jays. This also means that Francisco Liriano goes to the bullpen.

    So, the question I have is... who is the Twins starting 3B now? Carroll? Plouffe?

    What are your thoughts on the moves?

    This article was originally published in blog: Valencia Optioned to Rochester started by Seth Stohs
    Comments 41 Comments
    1. Riverbrian's Avatar
      Riverbrian -
      I believe Burroughs is in Rochester thinking. VELENCIA!!! I just got away from him and now he's following me. I went from the majors to AAA backup in a month.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Good moves. Hopefully Walters starts and Liriano is sent to the 'pen.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by zchrz View Post
      so now we have 3 catchers + 13 pitchers + 6 possible outfielders defiantly a well constructed roster.
      Well stated.
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      At long last...Mauer to 3b!

      I wish.
      In the long run, this would be the smart move - because Migy Sano @ 3B is like Migy Cabrerra @ 3B - kinda scary. If Sano doesn't improve his fielding he'll either be at 1B or DH.

      This clearly isn't the final structure of this year's roster.
    1. twinswon1991's Avatar
      twinswon1991 -
      Who needs power out of the corner infield positions! Between Mauer and Carroll the Twins may not get 5 homers this year. The Twins are a laughingstock!!!
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by glanzer View Post

      Too bad for Maloney. A resurgence (or surgence?) from him would have been a feel-good story. Still never understood Bill Smith adding him to the 40-man roster right away in the winter.
      Maloney was claimed on waivers so he had to be added to the 40-man roster, Smith didn't have a choice. The only other option was to wait to see if he cleared waivers and then try to sign him to a minor league contract.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      With another outfielder coming up, I would imagine that Plouffe will have the opportunity to play most of the time at 3B.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      Maloney was claimed on waivers so he had to be added to the 40-man roster, Smith didn't have a choice. The only other option was to wait to see if he cleared waivers and then try to sign him to a minor league contract.
      Actually he did have a choice - pass on Maloney and sign a different journeyman pitcher to a minor league deal. For some reason Smith liked Maloney enough to take that risk.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Not sure that I like the pitching moves, because:

      - Maloney was not the worse pitcher in the Twins' pen, it was Gray
      - Walters was not the best starter in Rochester, it was DeVries
      - Liriano was not the worse Twins' starter, it was Marquis (or very close, and Liriano has been trending better)
      - I don't think that Liriano has much future with the Twins and by demoting him to the pen they decrease his trading value. And at this point they better think trading value instead of 2012 wins.


      As far as Valencia goes. Yes, he did not meet expectations this season but his defense has been better. And the Twins do not have a third baseman out there. Maybe Carroll can fill in. Hope Brunanksy set his straight. But recalling Mastroianni? Not sure that this makes sense with Komatsu being on the team. (Not sure that Komatsu bein on the team makes sense either.) All I know is that the Twins took away a guy who if straighten up can hit for power and brought in a pirnaha...
    1. PopRiveter's Avatar
      PopRiveter -
      I don't see them trying to "send a message" or crack down on underperformers by demoting Valencia. I think they're just trying to help him get right. If he is reasonably in control of his game, he should hit .275 with 15 hr and 75 RBI. He is nowhere near that level of play right now, but he has the upside of a solid, middle of the road starter. Most of the other 3B options with the team (@ the upper levels) don't project as starters. Get him right or try to develop Plouffe as a 3rd baseman.
    1. Mr. Ed's Avatar
      Mr. Ed -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Not sure that I like the pitching moves, because:

      - Maloney was not the worse pitcher in the Twins' pen, it was Gray
      - Walters was not the best starter in Rochester, it was DeVries
      - Liriano was not the worse Twins' starter, it was Marquis (or very close, and Liriano has been trending better)
      - I don't think that Liriano has much future with the Twins and by demoting him to the pen they decrease his trading value. And at this point they better think trading value instead of 2012 wins.


      As far as Valencia goes. Yes, he did not meet expectations this season but his defense has been better. And the Twins do not have a third baseman out there. Maybe Carroll can fill in. Hope Brunanksy set his straight. But recalling Mastroianni? Not sure that this makes sense with Komatsu being on the team. (Not sure that Komatsu bein on the team makes sense either.) All I know is that the Twins took away a guy who if straighten up can hit for power and brought in a pirnaha...
      Moves for moves' sake. Mastro and Komatsu are the same. No one else to bring up at this point, thanks to the putrid depth in position players.


      FOUR slap-hitting CF types now on the 40 man roster. Yuck.

      Would have been better IF:

      Burroughs had hit; Valencia hits lefties, would have been a decent platoon option.

      Morneau injury
      Insistence of carrying 13 pitchers

      As for trending? eh, who cares. Those fancy stats don't mean much. It's what they see and go on gut feeling.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Not sure that I like the pitching moves, because:

      - Maloney was not the worse pitcher in the Twins' pen, it was Gray
      - Walters was not the best starter in Rochester, it was DeVries
      - Liriano was not the worse Twins' starter, it was Marquis (or very close, and Liriano has been trending better)
      - I don't think that Liriano has much future with the Twins and by demoting him to the pen they decrease his trading value. And at this point they better think trading value instead of 2012 wins.


      As far as Valencia goes. Yes, he did not meet expectations this season but his defense has been better. And the Twins do not have a third baseman out there. Maybe Carroll can fill in. Hope Brunanksy set his straight. But recalling Mastroianni? Not sure that this makes sense with Komatsu being on the team. (Not sure that Komatsu bein on the team makes sense either.) All I know is that the Twins took away a guy who if straighten up can hit for power and brought in a pirnaha...
      I'm ok with sending Valencia down. He's not getting it done here for whatever reason. A 36 OPS+ makes Punto look like a power hitter. If he gets straightened out at AAA, they can (and will) bring him back. But the reality is, since 2011 he's posted a .238/.281/.369 (78 OPS+) line. That's horrible in every respect. And his defense is still below average.
    1. Gernzy's Avatar
      Gernzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Not sure that I like the pitching moves, because:

      - Maloney was not the worse pitcher in the Twins' pen, it was Gray
      - Walters was not the best starter in Rochester, it was DeVries
      - Liriano was not the worse Twins' starter, it was Marquis (or very close, and Liriano has been trending better)
      - I don't think that Liriano has much future with the Twins and by demoting him to the pen they decrease his trading value. And at this point they better think trading value instead of 2012 wins.


      As far as Valencia goes. Yes, he did not meet expectations this season but his defense has been better. And the Twins do not have a third baseman out there. Maybe Carroll can fill in. Hope Brunanksy set his straight. But recalling Mastroianni? Not sure that this makes sense with Komatsu being on the team. (Not sure that Komatsu bein on the team makes sense either.) All I know is that the Twins took away a guy who if straighten up can hit for power and brought in a pirnaha...
      I heard that DeVries just pitched the other day and we need Walters for Saturday. I know that went into the decision. DeVries will get his chance this season for sure.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by thrylos98 View Post
      Not sure that I like the pitching moves, because:

      - Maloney was not the worse pitcher in the Twins' pen, it was Gray
      - Walters was not the best starter in Rochester, it was DeVries
      - Liriano was not the worse Twins' starter, it was Marquis (or very close, and Liriano has been trending better)
      - I don't think that Liriano has much future with the Twins and by demoting him to the pen they decrease his trading value. And at this point they better think trading value instead of 2012 wins.


      As far as Valencia goes. Yes, he did not meet expectations this season but his defense has been better. And the Twins do not have a third baseman out there. Maybe Carroll can fill in. Hope Brunanksy set his straight. But recalling Mastroianni? Not sure that this makes sense with Komatsu being on the team. (Not sure that Komatsu bein on the team makes sense either.) All I know is that the Twins took away a guy who if straighten up can hit for power and brought in a pirnaha...
      1--Maloney is worse than Gray. At least Gray can evade bats a little bit. Maloney was getting pounded. Of course they both should be gone. Anthony Slama replacing Jeff Gray is the blatantly obvious move and the organization needs to be pressed on this issue by the media.

      2--DeVries just pitched, otherwise it probably would have been him.

      3--Liriano has been worse than Marquis. I am not sure how you think otherwise. And if we are talking about sending a guy to the bullpen, at least Liriano might be able to be effective in one inning stints. Marquis doesn't seem like a viable bullpen option other than to replace Anthony Swarzak.

      4--Liriano's trade value will be decreased if the difference between his performance as starter and his performance as reliever are only slightly different. But if Liriano is good in his role as a reliever (and by this, I mean as a valid LOOGY or setup man), his value is going to be maximized vs. this starting nonsense. The most likely thing is that he is starting again in a month, and that is probably going to lead to a disaster.

      5--A platoon at 3rd might have worked with Burroughs. Who knows if Burroughs couldn't have hit .250 or better if given such a chance. But now it is going to be Jamey Carroll and Trevor Plouffe manning third. Plouffe's turn to play and stay or suck and and duck (not sure what that means, but I was committed to the rhyme).

      6--Yeah, the Komatsu signing was a bit odd to me, but they apparently want a left-handed bat in the OF. Mastroianni will be good for what they need him to do. Late-inning OF defense will be improved, he will steal bases when pinch-hitting and who knows . . . maybe he overperforms for a few weeks in some spot starts. I am not sure who else they should bring up (Chang?).
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      Actually he did have a choice - pass on Maloney and sign a different journeyman pitcher to a minor league deal. For some reason Smith liked Maloney enough to take that risk.

      While you are correct, I was responding to why Maloney was immediately added to the 40-man roster. When Smith claimed Maloney off of waivers he had to add him to the 40-man roster.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      The only way the Twins are going to get any value out of Liriano is if he becomes an effective reliever. If he can actually thrive in that role, teams may forget about him starting, or better yet, they might think that he could be an effective reliever eventually become a starter for them.

      I think they need to waive/demote another pitcher, or maybe trade one of them. I can't believe they are still carrying 13. 3 catchers is fine, if Mauer's still being bothered by that knee. If he's not, well, then with the rest of the roster set up the way it is, it's inexcusable.
    1. SweetOne69's Avatar
      SweetOne69 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post

      I think they need to waive/demote another pitcher, or maybe trade one of them. I can't believe they are still carrying 13. 3 catchers is fine, if Mauer's still being bothered by that knee. If he's not, well, then with the rest of the roster set up the way it is, it's inexcusable.
      While I agree that carrying 13 pitchers needs to be corrected, I think that when Morneau gets back from the DL that Parmelee will be sent to Rochester and Mauer and Doumit will alternate between C and 1B (with Morneau playing occasionally) and Butera will actually be the true backup catcher. Kind of like what was initially planned before they decided to keep Parmelee.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by SweetOne69 View Post
      While I agree that carrying 13 pitchers needs to be corrected, I think that when Morneau gets back from the DL that Parmelee will be sent to Rochester and Mauer and Doumit will alternate between C and 1B (with Morneau playing occasionally) and Butera will actually be the true backup catcher. Kind of like what was initially planned before they decided to keep Parmelee.
      I actually think Morneau is going to be playing there more often, and I think one reason they decided to keep Parmelee was because Morneau was set to DH. If they keep Butera and use Doumit and Mauer as you describe, I understand the reasoning behind 3 catchers, but my point was that that's even more reason to drop that 13th pitcher.
    1. ltwedt's Avatar
      ltwedt -
      I'm confused - . . . so we called up . . . Another outfielder?????????
    1. adjacent's Avatar
      adjacent -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
      The only way the Twins are going to get any value out of Liriano is if he becomes an effective reliever. If he can actually thrive in that role, teams may forget about him starting, or better yet, they might think that he could be an effective reliever eventually become a starter for them.

      I think they need to waive/demote another pitcher, or maybe trade one of them. I can't believe they are still carrying 13. 3 catchers is fine, if Mauer's still being bothered by that knee. If he's not, well, then with the rest of the roster set up the way it is, it's inexcusable.
      I agree that 13 pitchers is 1 or 2 too many, but what can you do if the starters routinely don't pass the 4th inning?
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