Last night after the game against the Angels, the Minnesota Twins made a couple significant roster moves to change things up a little bit. They sent third baseman Danny Valencia down to AAA and moved lefty starting pitcher Francisco Liriano to the bullpen.
More than likely, the Valencia move will put utility infielder Jamie Carrol at third and Alexi Casilla back at second. Valencia has been lack-luster at the plate in his third season in the majors and is currently nursing an 0-25 slump, batting .190 this year. Defensively he’s been mediocre at best so replacing him with Carrol will be a small upgrade.
“He’s gotta get some swings, gotta get some confidence,” Gardenhire said. The demotion could also be an attempt to just trim some fat and get rid of dead weight.
Another move that finally makes sense is sending struggling starter Francisco Liriano to the bullpen. Initially Gardy says that it’s simply to get him some more work and confidence, but it could prove to strengthen the bullpen.
Liriano will be in a position to come in the 7th or 8th inning and just throw everything he’s got at ‘em. He won’t have to worry about longevity and pitch counts, just getting a couple guys out. It will also add another hard throwing lefty along with Glen Perkins which will make the Twins’ bullpen that much stronger. Look to see Liriano in the pen for awhile.
It’s good to see the Twins trying to do things to improve the team or at least shake things up a bit. More changes are likely to come before the trade deadline of July 30th and I wouldn’t doubt it if names like Pavano, Span, Casilla and maybe even Mauer aren’t thrown out there. Stay tuned for more updates.
About the Author
Written by Mike Schlottman
Mike is graduate of St. Olaf College and has been blogging about the Minnesota Twins since 2012.