Now that the non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, we can get back to other, more “routine,” topics and do a little housecleaning. The Twins organization didn’t make any moves on the 28th, aside from releasing Rich Harden, but Monday saw four players involved in transactions. Three of the four a result of restoring the natural order in the team’s catching ranks.
Activated from the restricted list by Minnesota: C Joe Mauer (30) – returned to action after the birth of his twin girls on Tuesday with a 2-4 performance against the Royals. Including this afternoon’s latest loss at the hands of Kansas City, Mauer is 5-12 with a hit in each of the three games since his return. Being a newly minted parent appears to agree with his ability to play baseball.
Optioned to Rochester (from Minnesota): C Drew Butera (29) – went 0-3 in two games with the Twins while Mauer was away from the team and with Herrmann and Doumit on the roster it’s puzzling why they even had him start a game (7/26) at all. The bat is simply too much of a liability regardless of how great the defense is. Backup catchers that hit like like he does and stick in the majors at least present a threat with some home run pop. Butera lacks even that and is has a career average of just 0.208 as a professional (0.182 in MLB, 0.216 in MiLB). He was traded to the Dodgers yesterday and has been assigned to their Triple-A affiliate.
Assigned to Cedar Rapids (from Rochester): C Jairo Rodriguez (24) – was bumped to Rochester simply to provide temporary catching depth while Butera was up with the Twins. Rodriguez struck out in his only at bat with the Red Wings and went 0-3 with a strikeout in his first game back with the Kernels yesterday. He’s had a rough season overall but July was especially tough for him as he went 2-26 with two singles. I don’t know him personally but I’m assuming he’s awfully happy that today marks the start of August.
Rehab assignment to the GCL Twins (from Minnesota): RF Wilkin Ramirez (27) – has hit the ground running as he works his way back from a concussion. He hit in all three GCL games (3-9) with a double and a home run. Reports are that he will be moved to Double-A New Britain shortly. I still question his actual value to the major league roster moving forward, but I’m thrilled he’s back on a baseball field again.