Minnesota Twins: First wave of September call-ups underwhelming, No Byron Buxton
By Nate Palmer
The Minnesota Twins are able to expand their roster now that it is September. The first wave of players is underwhelming and does not include Byron Buxton.
The Minnesota Twins now have the opportunity to get a good look at a lot of young players as the calendar turns to September and rosters have now expanded. This time of year is especially good for teams in a similar position to the Twins. It allows for benches and bullpens to become deeper and young players get a chance to audition for the next season with the major league club. Unless the young guys stay in the minors.
The initial wave of call-ups for the Twins is dominated by veteran players. Those getting the opportunity to join the Twins includes Johnny Field, Tyler Duffey, Chris Gimenez, Matt Belisle, and Andrew Vasquez. Although not included in the initial wave of call-ups, as was rumored, Zack Littell will also join Minnesota and be slated to start on Sunday.
While we were all likely waiting for some more exciting names to be welcomed into the Twins clubhouse there is no need to stage a coup just yet on the Twins front office. As minor league seasons are wrapping up, it seems that is likely affecting the front office’s decision to hold off on calling some young players up. Which is simply good business between partners as teams like the Rochester Red Wings do need to continue to put a quality product on the field for their paying customers.
Left-handed reliever Vasquez may be the most notable name included in this first wave of players. The 24-year-old has had a breakout season and has pitched across three levels of the Twins minor leagues. Vasquez began his season in Fort Myers and has since added stops in Chattanooga, Rochester, and now Minnesota. Across those three levels, he has appeared in 40 games, tossed 69.1 innings, and holds a 1.30 ERA and a 14.0 K/9.
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Zack Littell is the next most exciting name as we wait to see if he can translate his great minor league performances into success in the majors. In his very limited action of 3.1 innings, Littell has given up seven runs. The Twins will certainly hope to see a better performance out of the promising pitching prospect down the stretch.
When will Byron Buxton return?
What has had the Twins twitter-sphere most up in arms the past day has been the exclusion of outfielder Byron Buxton. It isn’t just that he wasn’t included in this wave of call-ups, it is the fact that the Twins front office hasn’t given fans any idea what the plan is for Buxton going forward.
Are the Twins trying to play the service time game and gain an extra year of control? Is Buxton still hurt and if so why is he playing games in Rochester? Since July 27th, Buxton has found a good rhythm at the plate as he has in 16 games hit .333/.375/.583 with a .958 OPS.
It seems that Buxton is ready to see major league pitching again and he could be one of the first call-ups after the minor league season ends for Rochester. That is unless there is something bigger at work here. Right now the front office isn’t letting us know anything about their plans so it is certainly a situation to keep our eyes on.