Dozier to AAA, Florimon to the majors, a mini profile, and controversy?
by, 08-15-2012 at 11:28 AM (697 Views)
Originally published at The Tenth Inning Stretch
By now the latest transaction of the Minnesota Twins is about half a day old. SS Brian Dozier was optioned to the Twins AAA club and SS Pedro Florimon was recalled. Dozier was benched for 2 games after a critical error on Sunday and he has been at about replacement level with the bat and been strugging on the field on occasion. Typical rookie season. Even here, yesterday morning the possibility the the Twins might have given up on Dozier temporarily, was mentioned.
Also, it looks like this was not a unanimous decision by the Twins' management. In this article Joe Christensen suggests that the move has been debated for "weeks" among Twins' officials and reported that Ron Gardenhire didn't seem thrilled when it happened and he would not speak on the move. Rob Anthony answered all questions about the move. Clearly Gardhenhire has been of the loud Dozier supporters the past 2 seasons and it seems that he was against this decision. MLB.com Rhett Bollinger's piece does not have the Gardenhire information. Phil Mackey's ESPN 1500 story also suggests that there was a long discussion on the subject among the Twins brass and Mackey also adds that the particular play on Sunday and Dozier's reactions afterwards. could have been the decisive point in the demotion (the proverbial last piece of straw). Pioneer Press' Ben Goessling's article is also devoid of mentions of internal discussions and disagreements. Terry Ryan was at Rochester on Tuesday to watch the team and Pedro Florimon played SS; so the timing of his trip might be more than co-incidental. It will be interesting to see the cohesiveness of the Twins' management in what has been a clearly trying and frustrating season for the Minnesota Twins.
Pedro Florimon will wear uniform number 25. The last player who wore it was Erik Komatsu earlier this season and Jim Thome before him. Interesting enough, this was Alexi Casilla's number and Jim Thome had to buy it from him. So maybe this is passing of the batton in a way from one Dominican to another in the Twins' middle infield. The most notable Twin associated with number 25 is Randy Bush, member of both Twins' World Championship teams, who wore if from 1982 to 1993.
Pedro Florimon was born on December 10, 1986 in La Romana Dominican Rebublic and signed an amature free agent contract with the Baltimore Orioles organization in 2004 as a 17 year old. He came to the states as a 19 year old and played in Baltimore Appalachian League (Rookie) affiliate Bluefield Orioles and their Short Season A New York Penn League affiliate Aberdeen IronBirds. He ended the season hitting .293/.403/.369 with one HR, 13 RBI, 7 SB in 269 PAs. That was probably his best professional season in the Orioles system. His last season there was 2011, when he repeated AA Eastern League Bowie Baysox and hit .267/.344/.396 with 8 HR, 6 RBI and 15 SB. He was selected off Waivers by the Twins on December 5, 2011 at last off-season's winter meetings. Was invited at the MLB Spring Training camp last spring where he was one of the last cuts, and started his Twins' career with AA Eastern League New Britain Rock Cats and played 30 games before was promoted to Rochester. At New Britain he hit .283/.347/.372 2 HRs, 7 SB (improving his previous season performance in the same league) and for Rochester .251/.308/.344 in his first taste of AAA as a 25 year old.
When I gave a mini scouting report when he was claimed by the Twins last September, I mentioned:
Defensively, he has exceptional range and instincts, but he (more than occasionally) botches easy plays. In 602 games at SS, he has 174 errors but also turned 363 double plays. He has a strong arm and has some occasional gap power with the bat. All in all, he is very similar to a younger Alexi Casilla and would need some work with his concentration on the field. I think that the Twins signed him as organizational depth at this point, since there are no pure short stops in the higher levels of the organization. If he improves his error rate, he could possibly win a bench position with the Twins.
That was before he played a single inning in a Twins' uniform. Based on his Spring Training performance and his steadiness with the Rock Cats and Red Wings this season, I think that he did turn the corner on the field and could even potentially challenge for a starting job next season, depending who is still with the team. On a good competing team, unless he progresses further with the bat (he is still 25,) he could be a bench player. A note: I am calling him a bench vs. a utility player. All his career, Florimon has played only at short stop exept of a single game at center field (2011, Bowie BaySox) and 2 at second base (2011, Bowie Baysox and 2009, Delmarva Shorebirds) in the Baltimore Orioles' organization. So, unless he receives additional instruction and playing time at second and third next off-season and spring training, his utility future might be uncertain.