The Twins have designated center fielder Gilberto Celestino for assignment, per a club announcement. Celestino’s spot on the 40-man roster will go to right-hander Jorge Alcala, who has been activated from the 60-day IL. Making room for Alcala on the active roster is Dallas Keuchel, who the club placed on the 15-day IL.
Celestino made his debut with the Twins back in 2021 before stepping into a regular role with the club last season, when he appeared in 122 games. Celestino slashed .222/.292/.300 across 409 trips to the plate for the Twins those two years, though he did not appear in the big leagues this season after undergoing th that cost him the first half of the 2023 campaign. Celestino struggled somewhat at the Triple-A level following his return from the injured list, slashing just .243/.392/.389, a noticeable departure from his .290/.384/.443 slash line at the level in 2021.
Going forward, the Twins will have seven days to waive Celestino, who can then be claimed by any interested club. The Twins can outright Celestino if he clears waivers, though it should be noted that he would be eligible to elect free agency following the conclusion of the 2023 campaign if not added back to the 40-man roster.
Celestino’s departure makes way for Alcala, 27, to return from the injured list. The right-hander made his big league debut with the Twins back in 2019 and has spent parts of five seasons with the big league club, posting a 3.84 ERA and 4.35 FIP in 103 innings of work. Alcala’s 2023 season has been a difficult one, as the righty struggled to a 6.46 ERA in 15 1/3 innings of work at the big league level with a 6.84 FIP. Alcala was placed on the 15-day IL in the middle of May due to a stress fracture in his right forearm and didn’t appear in the majors or minors again until he began a rehab assignment in September. Alcala has now returned in time for the final game of the regular season to help the Twins eat innings ahead of the club’s appearance in the AL Wild Card series, which starts Tuesday.
Keuchel has two All Star appearances, a Cy Young award, and five Gold Gloves throughout his career but struggled in recent seasons, with a 6.35 ERA in 222 2/3 innings of work across the 2021 and 2022 seasons with the White Sox, Diamondbacks, and Rangers. Keuchel returned to the big leagues with the Twins back in August and has provided the club with a solid depth option for the rotation, pitching to a 5.40 ERA with a 4.25 FIP in 35 innings of work across nine appearances (six starts). Speaking with the Associated Press and other reporters, Keuchel said he would like to continue his career in 2024.