Taylor's Twins Talk

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

Monday, April 16, 2007

The Punto Situation

It appears that there was more to the story when Nick Punto was held out of the lineup for the second straight day today than merely getting more time off, and that Punto may soon be headed to the Disabled List, joining the likes of Jeff Cirillo, Rondell White, Alejandro Machado, and, of course, Francisco Liriano. As the article above points out, there is not an obvious replacement for Nick Punto, so I thought I would toss around a few ideas. Consider it nothing more than idle speculation.

1.) The Twins could call Chris Heintz back up. At first blush, it might appear that this would be barred by the fact that Heintz was just optioned in the middle of last week, and so hasn't spent the requisite 10 days in the minor leagues that is required before he can be recalled. However, that requirement is waived if a player goes on the disabled list, so if Punto had to go on the DL, Heintz could be recalled immediately. The big advantage here is that Heintz has some experience playing at 3B, and so could split time there with the already available options (Luis Rodriguez and possibly Alexi Casilla). He also, of course, would be available as a third catcher if necessary, which would undoubtedly make Gardy quite happy.

2.) The Twins could call up Glenn Williams. Williams would need to be added to the 40-man roster, but the Twins could accomplish that by shifting Alejandro Machado to the 60-Day DL. Williams has been playing at 1B every day for the Red Wings, but he has the ability to play 3B, 2B, and even SS if absolutely necessary. Williams had a down year last season, and is hitting only adequately so far this year. However, his last trip through the Majors was a success, and he might get a boost from being a fan favorite (as I think he would be, at least initially).

3.) The Twins could call up Tommy Watkins. Watkins is a veteran minor league player who is having moderate success at the AAA level so far this season (and yes, I know it's very early). Watkins is primarily a 2B-SS type, but he could be used at 3B without too much trouble. Problem is, this is a very inferior option to calling up either Heintz or Williams, so I'm not sure why the Twins would bother. Like Williams, Watkins would have to be added to the 40-man roster.

4.) The Twins could call up someone incapable of playing 3B, relying on Luis Rodriguez and Alexi Casilla to do the job. This seems unlikely, but it is at least a possibility. The most likely callup in this scenario would probably be Matt LeCroy (who, like Williams, would have to be added to the 40-man roster) to serve primarily as a DH against lefties. Another possibility (extremely unlikely) is that the Twins could add a 13th pitcher, such as Mike Venafro, with the understanding that the pitcher would only be around until Rondell White comes off of the DL on the 20th. I don't see much reason for the Twins to make a move like that, so it's probably not a very real possibility.

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  • At Mon Apr 16, 07:01:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

    Yeah I don't think they would take 13 pitchers either. Do you think that they may want to trade somebody like Venafro for a little help that they may need?


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