The Minnesota Twins made two roster moves this past weekend which will hopefully position the team for success in Chicago and Milwaukee.
The Minnesota Twins hit the road to visit Chicago and Milwaukee over the upcoming road trip. As they hit the road there has been a bit of a roster shakeup. The hopes will be that it puts the Twins in a place to log a couple more series wins. Including series wins against two strong National League Central foes.
The most recent move was one that sent outfielder Ryan LaMarre back to Triple-A as the Twins recalled fellow outfielder Jake Cave. This move may have more to do with what the other teams will be doing than what either of the players are doing. The Chicago White Sox will be running out three right-handers, causing the Twins to turn to the left-handed hitting Cave.
Anyone who has been following along at Puckett’s Pond knows that I am personally excited by this move. I may be hard on LaMarre, but he has been serviceable for the Twins. He just hasn’t done anything to give the Twins any sort of an edge. He has played as good of centerfield defense as anyone can who is trying to fill Byron Buxton‘s shoes. His June slash line of .245/.305/.340 is also better than my eye has told me watching games.
This move will hopefully give Cave an opportunity to get some regular plate appearances and show what he can do against major league pitching. Cave came to the Twins after slashing .305/.351/.542 with a .893 OPS and 20 home runs in Triple-A last season in the New York Yankees organization. While Cave hasn’t carried that same performance into 2017. We did see a glimpse of what he is capable of in the June 10th game against the Los Angeles Angels when Cave went 3-for-4, with a home run, double, and three RBIs to fuel a Twins 7-5 victory.
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That is why it will be good to see what Cave can offer the Twins over a longer stretch. He is fully capable of manning centerfield much like LaMarre. It is Cave’s bat that has the potential to separate himself from LaMarre and take over the fill in center fielder and fourth outfielder role.
After a short start by Jake Odorizzi on Saturday which taxed the Twins bullpen, Alan Busenitz finally will get his chance again in the majors. After filling a pivotal role in the bullpen down the stretch of 2017 and dominating Triple-A in 2018 with a 1.27 ERA Busenitz is back with the Twins. Much like Cave, hopefully, Busenitz will be given the opportunity to prove he deserves a spot with the major league bullpen again.
In order to make room for Busenitz, Fernando Romero was optioned back to Triple-A. After a hot start, Romero hasn’t been quite as sharp. His struggle on Friday, as he was touched up for four runs over six innings, must have signalled that an opportunity to fine tune things at Triple-A would be good for Romero.
What will be worth keeping an eye on is who fills the fifth starter role come Saturday. There are plenty of deserving names at Triple-A with Adalberto Mejia, Zack Littell, and Aaron Slegers leading the charge. With a new starter, which reliever will lose their spot? Will Busenitz simply go back to Triple-A or is this the end of the line for Matt Belisle? Only time will tell.