Wetmore: 5 thoughts on Oswaldo Arcia, low standards, and AL-NL rules
The Twins gave the Giants a few extra outs to work with Sunday and the Giants turned those opportunities into an 8-1 drubbing and a series sweep. The Twins played a sloppy series in San Francisco against the team with the most wins in the Major Leagues.
This column presents 5 thoughts and observations from Sunday's game.
As always, feel free to ask any questions or make any observations in the comments. If you have a unique baseball observation during a game, feel free to share it with me on Twitter (@DerekWetmore).
For more on the move, here's the news story.
The Twins have done well to play nearly .500 baseball while deploying mostly spare parts in the outfield. Now, the team will get back two of its projected starting outfielders.
2. I'm not sure why Arcia was not recalled Saturday, the first day he was eligible to return from Rochester after he was optioned 10 days prior. The Twins played Saturday and Sunday unnecessarily with Chris Colabello, Chris Herrmann, Eduardo Nunez, Danny Santana and Chris Parmelee as outfielders while Arcia mashed at Triple-A.
3. The Twins outfield has been a jumbled mess this season. Sunday, shortstop Danny Santana started in center field and shortstop Eduardo Nunez started in left field against lefty Madison Bumgarner.
Santana showed his inexperience in the outfield Sunday. He froze on soft single from leadoff hitter Gregor Blanco in the first inning. Blanco hit the ball in front of Santana, who froze while trying to read the trajectory of the ball. When he finally read the ball's flight he broke straight in, but even with his great speed was too late to make the catch.
(Nunez also missed a fly ball after he was slow to read and then quick to approach.)
Neither Willingham nor Arcia is a great fielder, but the Twins corner outfielders have set a low standard lately in that department.
3(b). Later, Santana didn't properly set himself up to make a throw on a sacrifice fly. Instead of setting up behind where the fly ball was hit so he could run in to get more force behind his throw, Santana caught the ball without his momentum carrying towards the infield. He needed an extra step toward the infield before uncorking his throw, which was well off the mark, up the third-base line.
Santana has great speed and a very strong arm, but he's proven in limited opportunities this season that it takes more than that to play center field in the Majors.
As the exception that proves the rule, B.J. Upton switched from shortstop to center field, but examples like that are rare. The rule, then, is that it's very difficult to switch to an up-the-middle position on the fly in the Majors.
4. Gardenhire has an interesting idea for interleague games. To expose fans to a different set of rules than they're used to, Gardenhire thinks interleague games in American League parks should be played by National League rules, and vice versa. The Fox Sports North telecast brought up the manager's theory, and it's intriguing to me. I also wonder how long the two leagues will continue to play with a different set of rules.
5. Joe Mauer struck out three times Sunday, just the 12th time in a 9-inning game in his career. He avoided his second career four-strikeout game (9 innings) with a single in the ninth. He's logged 1,220 career games.