Musings about Oswaldo Arcia's debut
by, 04-16-2013 at 03:20 PM (297 Views)
Last night (April 15) Oswaldo Arcia made his major league debut. He was called up by Minnesota when Wilkin Ramirez went on the paternity list. With the bat Arcia did better than another Twins outfielder making his debut this month, Aaron Hicks. Arcia singled his first time up and then flied out twice. With the glove, he did worse, dropping a fly ball in his only chance in left field.
I keep the uniform-number list for the Twins and, for now on my website (http://milkeespress.com/twinsnumbers.html) I've made a note about his number. He was assigned 31 but last night wore 42 along with everyone else. He'll probably be back up with the Twins this season and actually wear 31 in a game, but I've made a notation in the list about his assigned number and his actual number. (For the others who wore 42 in honor of Robinson, I've noted the players and coaches who chose to wear 42 in 2007 and 2008--coach Jerry White and Torii Hunter, Delmon Young, Craig Monroe, and Denard Span, only the players who appeared in a game--before everyone started wearing 42 on April 15 starting in 2009.)
Ramirez's wife had a baby on Sunday, and he was taken off the paternity list after the game last night and Arcia was sent to Rochester.
For now, this makes Ramirez a cup of coffee player, with one game in the majors. Of course, a lot of players have that distinction--Aaron Hicks and Ryan Pressly had it for the Twins a couple weeks ago--but most lose it pretty quickly, as soon as they play in their next game. For Arcia, his status will last indefinitely.
As far as I know the Twins have only one other cup of coffee player, Fred Bruckbauer, who pitched in one game on April 25, 1961 and has a lifetime earned-run average of infinity. Bruckbauer was the second major league born in New Ulm, Minnesota. The first was Elmer "Doc" Hamann, who pitched one game for Cleveland on September 21, 1922.
Hamann also has a lifetime ERA of infinity. A later New Ulm-born player, Terry Steinbach, did better in his debut--he homered in his first at bat.
The Twins have had a few players who played in only one game for them, although they pitched for other teams. Mike Smith pitched one game for the Twins, which was the last game in the majors for him, on August 6, 2006. Smith had pitched in 14 games with Toronto in 2002.
Matt Fox got into his first and only game with the Twins on September 3, 2010. He wasn't even on the 40-player roster but got a call afterthe Twins and Detroit had played a 13-inning game the night before. The Twins went through their bullpen and had to bring in Nick Blackburn to pitch the 13th. Blackburn had been scheduled to start the September 3 game, so the Twins called up Fox, along with Rob Delaney and Alex Burnett, after the game.
Fox started and got no decision September 3 in his only game with the Twins. However, his cup of coffee status lasted only two weeks as he pitched in three games for Boston later in the month.
Rob Delaney made his debut and relieved in the September 4 game, giving up a home run to the first batter he faced, Ian Kinsler. It was Delaney's only game with the Twins, and he didn't get into another game until May 8, 2011 (with the Rays). Unless Arcia doesn't get back to the majors this year, his cup of coffee status won't last as long as Delaney's.
By the way, I'm aware of two players the Twins have had on their active roster who never got into a game with them. One is Chuck Schilling, who had played for Boston and was traded to Minnesota just before the 1966 season. With Bernie Allen and Cesar Tovar playing well, Schilling never got into a game and was sent to Denver (although I think he retired rather than report) when the Twins had to cut their roster to 25 players.
The other was Davis May, who was called up April 25, 1977 after pitchers Mike Pazik and Don Carrithers being injured in a car accident. May never got into a game with the Twins (or anyone else in the majors) and was sent back to the minors May 16.
If I have any gaps on the Twins one-gamers that anyone is aware of, please chime in.