Willians Astudillo sent down to Triple-A Rochester

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BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 21: Willians Astudillo #64 of the Minnesota Twins doubles in the first to score Jorge Polanco #11 of the Minnesota Twins in the first inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
BALTIMORE, MD - APRIL 21: Willians Astudillo #64 of the Minnesota Twins doubles in the first to score Jorge Polanco #11 of the Minnesota Twins in the first inning during a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on April 21, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /
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The Minnesota Twins are reportedly sending down the fan favorite after he considerably cooled down after a hot start.

One of the best storylines for the Minnesota Twins this season has been the rise of utility man Willians Astudillo. Known for his outrageous personality, his winter league moonshot and his ability to swing at anything within the zip code of home plate, fans have flocked to “La Tortuga” during the Twins’ hot start to the season.

However, things haven’t gone so well for Astudillo lately as he hit .214 with 2 HR and 8 RBI since April 5.  With the Twins lineup fully healthy for the first time this season, Minnesota decided that Astudillo was expendable and Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports that the team will option him to Triple-A Rochester on Saturday morning.

Astudillo’s rise to popularity among the Twins fan base began last season as he made quite the debut thanks to his hustle on the base paths and his success at the plate. In 2018, Astudillo hit .355/.371/.516 with 3 HR and 21 RBI for a team that faded from relevance in June.

Although he made the opening day roster, what may have cost him was his free swinging ways at the plate. The 28-year old has walked just twice on the season, but has struck out five meaning that he has an abnormally large reliance on his BABIP which has dipped considerably from .341 in 2018 to .239 in 2019.

With Astudillo heading to Rochester to work out some kinks, Hayes also believes that the Twins will call up a reliever in his place, leaving the Twins with a three-man bench. With the bullpen’s struggles on the recent road trip, adding a reliever could be a good idea, but many of the Red Wings’ relievers have struggled, meaning it could be a repeat appearance by Zack Littell or Fernando Romero.

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Either way, the La Tortuga experience will have to be put on hold for the foreseeable future.

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