Today the Minnesota Twins signed Kendrys Morales, the last of the big name free agents with draft pick implications attached to their availability. With the 2014 MLB Draft underway, losing a draft pick no longer comes into play for the team going after Morales. The Twins jumped out of nowhere to shock the league and sign the switch hitting slugger. What does Kendrys Morales do for the Twins though?
Right now, the Twins are looking at being two games under .500, 2.5 games back in the Wild Card chase, and 4.5 games back in the AL Central. While Kendrys Morales doesn’t signify an instant playoff berth, it shows the Twins may be looking to expedite the push for rebuilding.
Danny Santana has made his debut at Target Field and has played well since being called up to the big club. Coined the future shortstop for the Twins, he has yet to see regular time over Eduardo Escobar, forcing himself into the lineup in other ways (Santana has been in the mix in the outfield as well as at DH).
Morales, a first basemen by fielding standards, will likely not take too much (if any) time away from Joe Mauer over at first. Bringing him in, likely signifies the Twins parting ways with Jason Kubel. Morales will man the DH spot and Kubel, who has struggled to do much of anything this year for the Twins, will be looking at being DFA’d shortly.
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Things could start to be getting very interesting at Target Field in the next few weeks however. Morales signifies a shift in the organizational thinking. The Twins were largely projected to lose 90, maybe even 100, games this year; that however, doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
Minnesota has average over 4 runs per game, and actually have put up reputable offensive numbers. With Oswaldo Arcia and Josh Willingham returning, alongside the addition of Morales, that seems only likely to continue.
On the pitching side of things, the Minnesota Twins may be flashing some of their young arms sooner rather than later. As Kevin Correia continues to struggle, and Samuel Deduno represents what essentially is a stopgap in the rotation, Alex Meyer and Trevor May could be making their debut’s soon.
Meyer is throwing today for AAA Rochester, and May has been cruising for Rochester of late as well. Meyer is regarded as a potential staff ace while May is a solid middle of the rotation guy. Meyer may be a guy the Twins were looking to avoid the Super 2 deadline with, and the further June drags on, the better chances he finally gets his call.
The Minnesota Twins have had an offense that has been nothing short of respectable this year, and they bolstered it today. Supplementing the runs with solid pitching in the form of upgrades of Kevin Correia and potentially Samuel Deduno may be enough to make September a month that Target Field once again experiences bustling crowds.