Twins Still Looking To Improve Bench

The Twins have been active in seeking bench help in the past week or so, acquiring Eduardo Nunez from the Yankees (in exchange for lefty Miguel Sulbaran) and claiming Sam Fuld off waivers from the A’s. It doesn’t sound like the team has any plans to stop actively seeking bench upgrades on the waiver wire, however, reports Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Neal spoke with manager Ron Gardenhire, who expressed a continued emphasis on improvements:

“We aren’t finished. We’re going to get better. We’re going to continue to get better. We’re going to keep changing around until we get what we want and get a feel for what we want off the bench. How we can move people around. And we are still working on it.”

As La Velle E. Neal of the Minneapolis Star Tribune pointed out, Darin Mastroianni was an unfortunate roster casualty following the Fuld claim. The Twins had hoped that Jason Bartlett‘s retirement papers would be processed by the time the Fuld claim became official, but the holiday weekend worked against them and they had to designate Mastroianni. The silver lining for them, he adds, is that there will now be a free spot on the 40-man roster, which will make it easier to make an additional move on the waiver wire or trade market.

Based on Berardino’s writing, it seems as if the Twins will give Nunez a test run as their shortstop based on Pedro Florimon‘s offensive woes. Nunez’s poor defense might lead to further moves down the line, however, as he’s graded out very poorly there per Ultimate Zone Rating and Defensive Runs Saved. Gardenhire sounded adamant in insisting that changes should be expected: “We had three years to make adjustments. Now it’s time. Everyone is tired of watching that other stuff. I’m tired of it. You’re tired of it. The fans are tired of it. We see something we like, go get it.”


Full Story | 8 Comments | Categories: Minnesota Twins

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8 Comments on "Twins Still Looking To Improve Bench"


Sky14
1 year 3 months ago

I’m not too concerned about their bench, it will improve once Willingham and Arcia become healthy. It doesn’t hurt to troll the waiver wire but they are unlikely to find quality middle infield depth there. Unless they are concerned that Kubel and Colabello will turn into pumpkins soon, they seem to have most positions covered for the time being.

0vercast
1 year 3 months ago

I agree. Things are looking pretty good right now. It’s been a lot of fun watching them, and I think Paul Molitor has had a major impact on player’s plate discipline and attitude. The Twins are leading or among the MLB leaders in R, BB, OBP, pitches per AB, etc. That’s a 180 degree change from how it’s been the last couple seasons.

I hope they don’t get too excited about this quality start to the season and go overboard. It’s not time to make an aggressive push and starting dealing prospects. This team is a lot more entertaining than they have been in years due to their improved/lucky offense, but “win now” is still at least a year or two off. Let’s not get too excited. Wouldn’t you agree?

Sky14
1 year 3 months ago

I agree, they should not make any short-sighted, win-now moves which makes that quote from Gardy a little scary. Hopefully that isn’t the mind-set of the front office, they should continue of their current trajectory.

Though I can understand the optimism, they have a lot going for them. Their offense might be overperforming a bit (though the BB’s are encouraging) but they have performed well with Florimon in the lineup, no Arica or Willingham and Hicks still struggling mightily. Not to mention, Mauer, Dozier (outside of HR’s) and Pinto could improve. I think any drop off from the offense might be offset by improvements in the rotation which has greatly under-performed outside of Gibson. The Bp is probably going to be strong all season so there might be a decent chance to be around .500ish all season.
In the end, you are right, absolutely no reason to push all the chips on the table though the light is starting to show at the end of the tunnel.

Lookouts400
1 year 3 months ago

What’s the latest on Willingham?

Thanks.

Sky14
1 year 3 months ago

Last I heard he had a a small fracture in the wrist but the team didn’t give a time-table as far as I know. I wouldn’t be surprised if he was out until early to mid-May, though he claims to be ready soon.

Lookouts400
1 year 3 months ago

Thanks!

BAINES03
1 year 3 months ago

Their bench? What about the entire rotation?

coreif
1 year 3 months ago

I’d want to improve my bench too if I had just acquired Eduardo Nuñez.