After a very busy ten days, I’m way overdue to rundown the moves made by the Minnesota Twins. Since I’m so far behind I’m going to break this up into several articles.
Thielbar returned to the Twins and to the mound the day before the All-Stay break. (Photo Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports)
Activated from bereavement list by Minnesota: LHP Caleb Thielbar – returned to the team and quickly gave up a run for just the second time this season. Both runs that have crossed the plate against him have come by way of solo home runs. Outside of the pair of longballs, he’s allowed just seven hits in 22.2 IP with a 21-9 SO-to-BB. Even though it’s still a bit of a small sample, it’s hard to ignore his 0.79 ERA, 0.71 WHIP and ERA+ of 524.
Optioned to Rochester (from Minnesota): RHP Michael Tonkin (23) – was the fill in on the roster while Thielbar was away from the team and though he only got a chance to pitch in one game, he made the most of it. He needed just 12 pitches to get through 1.1 innings against the Rays on the 11th in his major league debut. His stay with the Twins was brief but there’s no question he will be back up and contributing sooner rather than later. Especially with all the pre-deadline interest surrounding several members of the Twins bullpen.
Recalled to Minnesota (from Rochester): C/OF Chris Herrmann (25) – returns for his second stint with the big league club in 2013. He deserved longer than the two week trial he got in Minnesota from the end of May to the mid-June so this move represents the righting of a previous injustice in my book. After all he went 6-13 with a hit in all three of the games he started for the Twins last month. His presence also provides the team with some lineup and defensive flexibility since he can play LF in addition to catcher. Herrmann went 0-4 on the 21st in his first action since returning to the majors but last night was 3-5 with a grand slam in the 10th inning. In Rochester he’s hit 0.227/.297/.312 and is having a down year by his standards but all of that is moot based on how he’s looked in limited MLB action. He belongs on the 25-man roster and the team needs to see what he can do in Minnesota, not Rochester, the rest of this season.
Called up to Minnesota (from Rochester): SS Doug Bernier (33) – was in the midst of his finest minor league season since his 2007 campaign in Colorado Springs (COL-AAA). It’s hard not to root for a guy like Bernier who has keep at it though his chances to return to the majors seemed slim. He went 0-4 in a two game stint with the Rockies back in 2008 and then struggled at Triple-A each of the last four seasons in the Yankees (2009, 2011-12) and Pirates (2010) systems. In those four seasons he never hit above 0.240 and in 2009 hit just 0.181 with a 0.543 OPS. Revitalized in Rochester he put together a 0.295/.370/.407 slash line prior to his call up. Bernier picked up his first major league hit, a RBI double, in Monday’s 4-3 win over the Angels.
Optioned to Rochester (from Minnesota): OF/1B Chris Parmelee (25) – was hitting 0.223/.303/.372 through 83 games with the Twins. On top of that, his OPS in 13 July games played was 0.617 so the bump down to Rochester was merited based on the numbers. Of course, as much as I love statistics – both garden variety and advanced – the numbers are just one piece of the equation. Parmelee has absolutely nothing to left to prove in Triple-A and very little to gain from being sent back down. To his credit the demotion hasn’t impacted his play as he’s hit in five out of six games with the Red Wings but given where he’s at in his career he needs to be in the majors. It’s a sink or swim year for Parmelee and the Twins need to use the rest of this season to decide whether or not he’s a legitimate piece of their future. I view his demotion from that of Arcia’s very differently based on their relative levels of experience.
Optioned to Rochester (from Minnesota): SS Eduardo Escobar (24) – was hitting 0.214/.268/.328 in 143 PA for the Twins. He’s played SS (31), 3B (17), 2B (6) and LF (1) this season and it’s that versatility that offers up some value to an organization. Unfortunately he doesn’t offer much else and is essentially your run of the mill utility infielder. If you look at the roster of most Triple-A teams you will find a player similar to, if not better than, Escobar. Since being sent down he’s 3-16 with no walks and 7 SO.
Optioned to Rochester (from Minnesota): OF Oswaldo Arcia (22) – has given the Twins league average offensive production with an OPS+ of 99. That’s something significant considering he’s in his first major league season and is just 22. Of course as so many sources noted at the time he was sent down, Arcia clearly needed to return to Rochester to get his swing and his confidence recalibrated. During the month of July he was hitting 0.159/.196/.182 with 17 SO and just 1 BB in 46 PA. Since rejoining the Red Wings he has 7 hits in 12 at bats including a pair of home runs and a double. Like Parmelee, he should be called back up sooner rather than later though in Arcia’s case it seems rather evident that he is a part of the Twins future.
Activated from 7-day DL by Elizabethton Twins: C Bo Altobelli – played in just three June games before hitting the DL. Since returning the Twins’ 2012 21st round selection is 1-4 with a walk in two games played.