Tuesday, July 16, 2013

What does the Twins roster shake-up mean?

The Twins needed to make some kind of change during the All-Star break because the team scuffled in the week's leading up to the Mid-Summer Classic. There was going to be some players sent packing to Rochester and some fresh faces on the Twins roster. It had to happen and there were going to be some surprising names that would come up in the discussion for demotion.

There is pressure on multiple people in the Twins organization to find a way to be respectable in 2013. Ron Gardenhire is in the last year of his contract and he needs to show the organization something so they will renew his contract for next year. Terry Ryan had a hand in putting together this roster and he needs to see some of the talent translated onto the field.

Coming out of the All-Star break there will be some new names on the bench and in the line-up. Maybe these new faces will help the team to win a few more games. Overall, this wasn't a team that was going to be fighting for a World Series crown so all of their moves need to be focused on the future.

Here is a look at each of the players that was demoted and what the future might hold for each of them.

Oswaldo Arcia
Season (59 Games): .257/.317/.408, 6 HR, 11 2B, 25 RBI, 63 SO
Last Month (22 Games): .262/.319/.676, 2 HR, 2 2B, 10 RBI, 26 SO
The Future: Just a few weeks ago, it looked like Arcia was one of the front-runners for the American League Rookie of the Year Award. A lot has changed in the last couple weeks. Over that time, he hit .108/.132/.108 with 16 strikeouts in 37 at-bats. There was no power from Arcia and one had to wonder if there was some kind of injury bothering him or maybe he was embarrassed about taking a pop-fly to the face. He is too valuable to the club to be at the big league level and not getting consistent at-bats. Something had to be done to get him focused in at the plate.

Arcia is still only 22-years old and he only has a little over 100 plate appearances at the Triple-A level. It might be good for him to get a month or so in the minors. This can give him a chance to get his head back on straight because the Twins need him for the next few years. Chris Herrmann will get some of the at-bats vacated by Arcia and he figures to also be in the Twins rebuilding plans. This gives the club a chance to see a little more of Herrmann at the big league level. Arcia's power hitting ability should be a staple in the Twins line-up as the team tries to rebuild but something just wasn't right going into the All-Star break.

Eduardo Escobar
Season (55 Games): .214/.268/.328, 3 HR, 2 2B, 9 RBI, 23 SO
Last Month (11 Games): .120/.154/.240, 1 HR, 0 2B, 1 RBI, 7 SO
The Future: Escobar surprised a lot of people with his performance in the first month of the season. He wasn't an everyday starter but he hit .378/.395/.541 with three extra-base hits in 38 plate appearances. Minnesota has struggled at different points of the first half to find production from the shortstop role. Pedro Florimon had a rough start to the season and Escobar did a decent job filling in when he was asked to do so.

The Twins are basically swapping out the 24-year old Escobar for 33-year old infielder Doug Bernier. In 92 games for Rochester, Bernier was hitting .295/.370/.407 with 15 doubles. It seems like there is more of a chance for Escobar to have a long-term role as a utility man for the Twins. He is younger than Bernier by almost a decade but age didn't stop the Twins from making the move. This move might allow Escobar to get more playing time at Rochester and then the Twins can see where he fits into their plans. Now the Twins will have aging veterans Jamey Carroll and Bernier as their back-up infielders. Maybe they can swap "back in my day" stories on the bench.

Chris Parmelee
Season (83 Games): .223/.303/.372, 8 HR, 12 2B, 20 RBI, 66 SO
Last Month (22 Games): .222/.306/.444, 3 HR, 5 2B, 6 RBI, 20 SO
The Future: This was suppose to be a make it or break it season for Parmelee. Things aren't really working out in his favor in 2013. He has struggled to make consistent contact at the plate and the power he showed in the minors hasn't translated to the big leagues. Some of his struggles might be from the fact he is playing most of his games in the outfield after being used more as a first baseman in the upper levels of the minors. The Twins still gave him plenty of time to figure out his position and some of his challenges in the batter's box. Maybe a couple weeks at Triple-A will wake up his swing since he had an OPS of 1.102 last season in Rochester.

Since it seems likely for Justin Morneau to be in a different uniform by the end of the month, one would think Parmelee could be the man to take over first base. It now seems more likely for Chris Colabello to be the man to get more playing time at the corner infield spot. Colabello got a brief taste of the big leagues earlier this year but he continues to be a force in the minors. Last year he was one of the top five players in the Eastern League and this season he is in the discussion for the best player in the International League. His batting line of .354/.432/.652 with 24 home runs and 24 doubles look like video game numbers.

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