Wetmore: 5 thoughts, Arcia ends hitless streak, Pino, and a new record
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The Twins lost a ballgame, 6-2, to the Angels on Wednesday. But perhaps more painful is the loss of Danny Santana, who left part way through the game with a sore left knee. It's not clear how much time he'll miss.
This column presents 5 thoughts from Wednesday's game.
As always, feel free to ask questions or make observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
1. Santana hit a double in the third inning but trotted into second base with a defined limp. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire and trainer Dave Preumer checked on Santana, who tested the injury with some light running in the outfield grass. He appeared to be in pain, and left the game with left knee soreness, according to the Twins.
2. The Twins talked about adding another bench player and cutting the pitching staff from 13 members to 12. Ron Gardenhire, who seems to ordinarily like larger pitching staffs, would have preferred the extra bench player on the road trip. Twins GM Terry Ryan said Sunday it was being talked about but he wasn't so sure that's what the Twins needed, in part because there wouldn't be much playing time for any potential call-up.
They might have to play with a short bench in Thursday's day game. But also consider that Kyle Gibson and Yohan Pino turned in consecutive short starts and the two long relievers worked in those games. (Sam Deduno threw 58 pitches Tuesday and Anthony Swarzak threw 30 pitches Wednesday.) As much as I don't think Major League teams necessarily need 13 pitchers (eight relievers) on a staff, it does seem like the Twins pitching is a little taxed right now.
Trevor Plouffe and Eduardo Nunez are eligible to return from the disabled list Monday.
3. Yohan Pino had a great start to his Major League career in his debut but his follow-up act Thursday was not so good. He lasted just 3 innings and gave up 5 earned runs, with two strikeouts and a walk.
Last season Andrew Albers had perhaps the best debut in Twins history and followed it up with a complete game two-hit shutout. He's no longer pitching in the big leagues. Pino had impressive numbers this season for Triple-A Rochester, and I don't want to make a direct comparison here. It's just worth noting that a hot start doesn't guarantee success in the Majors.
4. Oswaldo Arcia broke out of his slump with a home run on a 98-mph fastball. Angels starter Garrett Richards averages 96 mph on his fastball, which is second in the Majors behind Royals starter Yordano Ventura. I bring that up because Arcia is a good fastball hitter, and teams are giving him fewer fastballs.
Last season, Arcia got a fastball nearly 60 percent of the time. That's down to 47 percent so far this season. Teams are trading in the fastball approach and giving Arcia more sliders and slightly more cutters.
Arcia's hitless streak had reached 34 plate appearances, although he did walk twice during that span.
5. Fans in attendance apparently set a new Guinness world record Wednesday for the most people wearing Santa hats in the same place. It was part of a "Halfway to Christmas" promotion.
The Twins optioned Aaron Hicks to Double-A on Wednesday.
And Trevor May was named as a replacement for the All-Star Futures Game.