Theyll Be Coming

Whether it be this September, next season when outdoor baseball returns to Minnesota, or shortly thereafter, the Minnesota Twins have several players, including infielders and pitchers, who will soon be making debuts, and in some cases, making returns.

While the infield has been year-to-year since the days of Corey Koskie, Luis Rivas, and Christian Guzman, the organization may finally have mainstays currently making their home in Rochester, New York. Several players including Nick Punto, Brendan Harris, Joe Crede, Mike Lamb, Tony Batista, and others have held down the fort at second base, shortstop, and third base. Nonetheless, all three positions have seen a magnitude of players over the past three seasons.

Several players, including Steven Tolleson and Danny Valencia, could soon change that if they continue their success from double-A and triple-A. Tolleson has thus far played in nearly 40 games at the closest level to ‘The Bigs’, while his teammate, Valencia, has appeared in only 15. Both still have work to do, primarily in sharpening their defense, but their bats seem to be getting closer to major league quality.

Outside of Valencia and Tolleson, players that could eventually settle in at third (Valencia), shortstop or second (Tolleson), Alexi Casilla, who turns 25 later this month, has hit well since his demotion and could also play a factor in the team’s future infield.

Player G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS AVG OBP SLG OPS
Valencia 71 272 55 81 19 4 9 41 33 47 0 3 .298 .372 .482 .855
Tolleson 75 294 49 85 20 3 5 23 36 42 11 4 .289 .373 .429 .802
Casilla 35 138 20 46 3 3 1 14 10 19 8 6 .333 .373 .420 .794

* Numbers for Valencia/Tolleson are from both double-A and triple-A.

Long term players in the infield may not arrive until next season or further down the road, but the bullpen could see some pitchers from triple-A Rochester anytime the team needs help.

Both Juan Morillo and Jesse Crain have seen the Metrodome this season, and both could have opportunities to return before the second half comes to a close. Morillo has pitched well since he was originally sent down two months ago, but Crain has struggled until recently.

With Morillo’s strong pitching for the Red Wings, and Crain’s recent improvement, the Twins could have options as the season progresses. One other name, a guy that has been in New York all season, is Armando Gabino.

Player G W L ERA IP H R ER BB SO AVG WHIP
Morillo 22 3 3 2.91 34.0 22 11 11 21 44 .185 1.26
Crain 7 1 0 3.72 9.2 7 4 4 7 13 .212 1.45
Gabino 26 3 2 3.25 52.2 42 20 19 15 33 .228 1.08
There is a chance that the likes of Crede, Harris, Punto, and others will continue to hold down the fort along with Justin Morneau in the infield, and that the bullpen won’t need any help. But it seems that the Twins finally have aid for their bullpen, and a future for their infield.

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