Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Monday, July 10, 2006

Bye Bye Sierra

ESPN is reporting that Ruben Sierra has been waived by the Twins. With the return of Shannon Stewart, the emergence of Jason Kubel, and the seemingly imminent return of Rondell White, Sierra had become expendable. There are those who would argue that Sierra was always expendable, and I guess I would have to agree. Chalk this up as another poor offseason decision by Terry Ryan, who certainly didn't have his best ever off-season this past year.

So, the question now becomes who is going to be called up to replace Sierra on the roster. The article that I linked to above suggests that the Twins are planning on bringing White back up around the 21st of July, and that means there will be about 8 days for someone else to get a call-up. There are not a lot of options for the Twins at the AAA level, and I see several possibilities.

1.) The Twins could change their mind on White and bring him back right after the break.

2.) They could call up a pitcher (Baker or Bonser) to fill the fifth starter role, and use that pitcher out of the bullpen until four days before they have to start, sometime around the 21st.

3.) They could call up a reliever, probably Beau Kemp or Kevin Cameron.

4.) They could call up a position player to be used off the bench, mostly just to give the guy a chance to spend a week in the big leagues. Josh Rabe and Jason Tyner would be the two most likely candidates to be called up if this is the direction the Twins would go.

If the Twins went with option 2 or 3 above and called up a pitcher, then someone would have to be sent down when White is activated in 10-12 days. It seems likely that, unless Pat Neshek struggles, this would be Willie Eyre. If the Twins went with option 3, then Eyre would likely be in direct competition with Neshek and the call-up to determine which two stayed up and who was going to be sent down.

My prediction: the Twins will bring Scott Baker up, and he'll get one or two appearances out of the 'pen before returning to the rotation.

UPDATE: The team is going to wait until tomorrow, or possibly early Thursday, to announce who is replacing Sierra on the team. In this article, Terry Ryan is quoted as saying that the team would prefer to bring up a position player, and that the preference is to leave Rondell White at AAA until he completes his rehab stint. The only player mentioned by Patrick Reusse as a "candidate" to be called up is Chris Heintz, who is putting together a decent season. This makes some sense, since Heintz is a Catcher/Infielder, who would give the Twins a third-catcher off the bench who could also be used, if needed, at 3B and possibly 1B. I'm still predicting that Baker gets the call, because with Liriano in the All-Star game and Silva hurting, I think the Twins will need a pitcher more than another bench player, but I wouldn't at all be surprised if Heintz got the call.


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