Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Twins Make a Bevy of Moves

Already wracked by injuries and under performance with three everyday players on the DL, and only two players batting over .227 entering this afternoons contest against the White Sox, the Twins have sent two more players to the disabled list, and demoted one other.

This time it's slugging DH Jim Thome, and 4th outfielder Jason Repko who will be placed on the 15 day DL, while backup catcher Steve Holm has been demoted. The players being called up are Ben Revere, shortstop Trevor Plouffe, and either Danny Lehmann or Rene Rivera.

Thome been slowed by a tight left oblique for the past few days. He last played on April 30th, so my guess is that the move would be retroactive to May 1st, making him eligible to return on the 15th. Oblique injuries are tricky deals however and sometimes take awhile longer to fully heal. Repko is headed to the DL due to a quad strain that has left the outfielder unable to play since May 1st.

In their steads will be top prospects and former first round picks Trevor Plouffe (2004) and Ben Revere (2007).  Both players received some time with the Major League club in 2010, though neither had any amount of success.

Plouffe, a 24 year old shortstop was off to a blazing start in AAA, having belted six homeruns in his first 78 at-bats. He has some good traits and some bad ones. On the one hand he'll offer you plus power for a shortstop, and projects as someone who can hit 15 or so long balls per season while providing average/plus range, and a solid arm. On the downside he strikes out too much, and walk too little to hit for average or project for a particularly enticing batting average or on base percentage. He also has a tendency to be somewhat error prone as he doesn't have the softest of hands.

I see him as someone who can be a .240-.250 hitter with a .300 OBP and a .400 SLG. If that's about right, it's make him a solid if unspectacular every day option in a league where the average OPS for shortstop currently stands at just .631. It'd also make him one of the Twins best hitters given how seriously they've struggled in 2011. The Twins may also play him at second base.

Revere of course has been one of the Twins top prospects ever since being a surprise first round pick. He makes a ton of contact, putting his high end (70/75) speed to good and frequent use. He won't walk much and he doesn't have much extra base pop, so he is essentially a slap hitting singles hitter but he does get on base plenty (MiLB career .386 OBP) and once there he can cause havoc on the bases.

The same speed that makes him a terror in the infield also makes him a high end outfield defender as he can outrun far more balls than an average defender, turning doubles into outs. He's got a very poor arm that rates as his worst tool and is probably better suited to left field, where his defense would be high-end. It's likely that the Twins will have him as their starting left fielder until Delmon Young, also on the DL, is able to return.

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