The Minnesota Twins did a great job of making the final bench spot a moving target. Two days before Opening Day, we now know the spot goes to Ryan LaMarre.
And the Minnesota Twins bench saga continues. As soon as we (ok, maybe just I) think we have it figured out another thing changes. This weekend as the Twins reclaimed Kennys Vargas that seemed to signal that the Twins were ready to take the switch-hitter north with them. That wasn’t the case after all as today Vargas was outrighted, cleared waivers, and was assigned to Triple-A.
While it feels like a strange move, it paid off and the Twins are able to keep Vargas in their organization. They clearly feel there is still some value to his bat and want him in the organization. At least to start the season, the Twins are hoping that the bat of Ryan LaMarre is real. With the ability to play a defensive position, LaMarre claims the final bench spot as the Twins approach Opening Day on Thursday.
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All spring all LaMarre has done is hit the baseball and hit it well. In 23 games and 44 plate appearances, he slashed .475/.500/.775 and added two home runs, four doubles, and a triple. That spring performance was enough to let the Twins look past an unsuccessful career up to this point. LaMarre has only received 30 games in the majors and has gone 2-for-37 in those games. His minor league numbers aren’t awful as he has slashed .266/.343/.376. At the age of 29, what we have seen from a player is usually who they are thought to be. It could be different with LaMarre who made some major changes this offseason.
Something seems different
As can be seen in this tweet from Parker Hageman who contributes at Twins Daily, LaMarre made significant changes to his swing.
As Hageman points out in a subsequent tweet, you can see how LaMarre has significantly quieted his swing. He used to have a lot of movement pre-pitch, but now he is leaving his bat fairly stationary as the pitch comes his way.
LaMarre and his new swing had certainly helped him gain his fair share of fans in his short time in a Twins uniform. He now will have the opportunity to prove if the change is real. If for whatever reason LaMarre doesn’t stick with the Twins, they really haven’t lost out on anything by giving the journeyman minor leaguer another shot at his dream.