The Minnesota Twins are in the midst of another tough season, however, September still remains a time that Minnesota can use as an essential evaluation period heading into 2015. As mentioned a few weeks ago, there are some names in the Twins farm system that have the ability to play and integral part in turning the franchise around. Tomorrow, some of those guys get their shot.
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Called up and making their appearance tomorrow for the Twins when rosters expand will be Aaron Hicks, Josmil Pinto, Chris Hermann, Doug Bernier, Lester Oliveros, Logan Darnell, Michael Tonkin, and A.J. Achter.
While those names aren’t the top prospects still residing down on the farm, a lot of them make sense. Bernier and Hermann both represent guys who have battled through the system and are being rewarded. While neither of them project as long-term pieces for Minnesota, they could be called upon on a winning team in a pinch.
Aaron Hicks has turned his bat around since his demotion to Double-A earlier this year. In his first true rise through the minor leagues, he hit .297/.404/.466 at New Britain prior to slashing .261/.329/.377 at Rochester. While the Rochester numbers were down, the uptick as a whole should help Hicks have a more consistent approach at the plate. He will be auditioning for a major league role again next year.
Hicks is one name that should be most monitored across September. He should get regular playing time and allow for Ron Gardenhire to use Danny Santana at the more natural shortstop position. Finding out what needs to be address in the field for 2015 is a big benefit for the Twins in September.
Josmil Pinto has always been noted as a player whose bat was ahead of his defense, he just couldn’t play catcher at the major league level. Terry Ryan noted that Pinto’s game has improved across the board when it comes to defense. While Kurt Suzuki has had an exceptional season for the Twins, Minnesota is still hoping that Pinto can develop into a catcher that pushes for playing time.
With Oliveros, Darnell, Tonkin, and Achter, the Twins are looking at some possible bullpen arms in 2015. Both Tonkin and Darnell have been up at points in 2014 but failed to stick. Tonkin and Darnell both possess the ability to throw hard and strike batters out, September will be about them doing so on a consistent basis.
Terry Ryan also mentioned that the Twins considered recently acquired Stephen Pryor for a promotion, but that due to his shoulder inflammation last season, it made sense to let him finish out his 2014 and rest. Ryan also updated Alex Meyer‘s status in saying there was no structural damage, but that his season has come to an end with the Red Wings being done, likely a best case scenario for now.
Look for each of the Twins September call ups to find a handful of time to contribute. With the season all but over, Minnesota will look to end the final month on a high note.