One side effect of the Twins signing Kendrys Morales to be their everyday designated hitter is that it pushed Josmil Pinto out of the lineup and, it turns out, back to the minors.
Rather than keep Pinto around as a backup catcher the Twins have decided to send the 25-year-old rookie to Triple-A. Development-wise he’s likely better off playing regularly in Rochester than sitting on the bench in Minnesota, but it’s odd that the Twins benched Pinto for 27 of their first 64 games before they even signed Morales.
Pinto has slumped recently and his defense behind the plate has been predictably shaky, but his .813 OPS in 64 games as a big leaguer is the 17th-highest mark in Twins history among every hitter with at least 200 plate appearances, ahead of guys like Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, Matt Lawton, Chuck Knoblauch, Marty Cordova, Paul Molitor, A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Kubel, and Tom Brunansky.
Pinto’s career on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS are also higher than Morales’ marks since returning from a broken ankle in 2012. He can hit, but for whatever reason the Twins played him sporadically despite having the DH spot available and then decided Morales was a worthwhile upgrade, so now Pinto is left to beat up on International League pitchers for a while.
The Twins have designated OF Jason Kubel for assignment to make room on the roster for the recently-signed Kendrys Morales, Tyler Mason of FOX Sports North reports. Kubel, 32, slashed .224/.313/.295 with one home run in 176 plate appearances. He is sad to leave Minnesota:
Yesterday, the Twins signed the 30-year-old Morales to a one-year deal for the prorated portion of $12 million.
Oswaldo Arcia was Minnesota’s starting right fielder when he was shut down with a wrist injury during the first week of the season and now that he’s finally healthy six weeks later the Twins have decided to demote him to Triple-A.
It’s an odd move in part because Arcia spent most of last season in the majors and more than held his own, hitting .251 with 14 homers in 97 games for an above-average .734 OPS at age 22, and in part because with Josh Willingham also injured the Twins have been using light-hitting infielders like Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar in the outfield corners and are also giving lots of action to a seemingly washed-up Jason Kubel.
So instead of just sticking Arcia back in the lineup where he ended last season and began this season they’ll keep trotting out a patch-work outfield and force him to spend more time at Triple-A, where he’s hit .311 with a .978 OPS in 50 career games.