Aaron Hicks activated from rehab assignment, optioned to Double-A
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The Twins announced Wednesday that they've activated Aaron Hicks from his rehab assignment, but he'll be staying in Double-A New Britain. The Twins optioned him to the minors instead of putting him on the Major League roster.
The #MNTwins have activated Aaron Hicks from DL & optioned him to Double-A New Britain.— Dustin Morse (@Twins_morsecode) June 25, 2014
Hicks was rehabbing a shoulder injury in Double-A, and I wrote on Sunday that this seemed like the most likely scenario.
He had decided to give up switch hitting about a month ago, and with limited plate appearances apparently decided that he needs to add back that component to his game. Twins GM Terry Ryan said he is supportive of Hicks' decision, although the waffling back and forth should be a concern.
Things haven't worked out at all for Hicks in the Majors, but 2012 was a fairly strong season switch hitting in the minor leagues. Ryan was very clear over the weekend that Hicks, 24, is too young for the Twins to give up on him.
Now that the luster of being a prospect is gone, Hicks will have to prove he belongs in the Majors. He has one option year remaining, so he could be recalled and optioned for another season after this. That's plenty of time for him to right the ship and to harness the tools (strong arm, good speed) that made him the 14th overall pick in the 2008 draft.
For now, though, it's clear the Twins don't see him as a contributor in the Majors. Sam Fuld, who was designated for assignment by Oakland, has filled in as the starting center fielder. When Trevor Plouffe is activated from the disabled list, perhaps Eduardo Escobar returns to shortstop and pushes shortstop Danny Santana into center field.
It seems like a messy situation in the short-term for the Twins in center field. But don't forget the Twins probably have their center fielder of the future, Byron Buxton, on the way. The wrist injury that has kept him sidelined this year most likely is a setback to his Major League arrival, but it shouldn't diminish his potential in a meaningful way.