The Twins announced after yesterdays win in Baltimore that Tyler Robertson was optioned to AAA Rochester and that Anthony Swarzak was on his way off the 15 day DL to join the Twins. A lot of people like Robertson but I am not a huge fan, Robertson’s job is to get that tough lefty out and he has not done that on a consistent basis. What really bothers me about Robertson is that he just gives up too many home runs and he walks too many hitters. In 42 appearances between 2012-2013 Robertson has pitched 26 innings and he has given 5 home runs and 14 walks, both unacceptable numbers. Swarzak is not the answer either but until someone in the minors distinguishes himself, Swarzak will be pitching for the Twins.
The Twins also officially placed Cole De Vries on the 15 day DL and called up Pedro Hernandez who was acquired in the Francisco Liriano deal last year with the White Sox to start against the Baltimore Orioles. The 23-year-old left-handed Hernandez has one big league game on his resume and it is a start for the Mighty Whities that he would like to forget. Hernandez lasted just 4 innings against the Red Sox on July 18 when he gave up 8 earned runs and 12 hits (3 home runs) while walking one and striking out two. Hopefully today will be a better day for Pedro.
I have to wonder how long the Twins are going to let Aaron Hicks struggle like he has been? In 24 plate appearances Hicks has walked twice and gotten one hit and has a .045 batting average. Yesterday he got thrown out trying to steal second and it wasn’t even close. Hicks looks nothing like he did in spring training and he looks scared at the plate and seems to have no idea what he is doing. I know it is still very early but you have to be concerned what this might be doing to his confidence, hopefully it will not set Hicks back. I think Gardy has no choice but to drop him down to the bottom of the order soon and hopefully that can kick start Hicks career. Hicks too has a huge part to play, he has to show he has the guts and confidence to work through this horrendous start. I hope he can do it or the Twins season is going to take a big down turn quickly. It would be nice to rest Hicks for a day or two and give him a chance to regroup but the Twins have no one healthy enough right now to play center with Mastroianni ailing.
How are things in the minor leagues? Here is a brief run down on hos things stand. The AAA Rochester Red Wings find themselves tied for last place in their 6 team division with an 0-3 record. The AA New Britain Rock Cats also find themselves tied for the cellar in their 6 team division with a 1-2 record. The High-A Ft. Myers Miracle are 3-0 and as one of two undefeated teams in their division sit in first place. The Low-A Cedar Rapids Kernels have put up a 2-1 record which is good enough to tie for second in their division just one game out of the lead. After just a dozen games played, the Twins minor league system stands at 6-6 (.500).