Wetmore: Delaying Oswaldo Arcia's call-up makes sense only to Twins
MINNEAPOLIS - The Twins' decision to wait to recall Oswaldo Arcia is puzzling.
Actually, it's the latest in a series of puzzling moves this season.
For all the unfair and factually incorrect arguments Twins fans get upset about, this roster decision seems a legitimate cause for concern.
The Pohlad family runs a cheap organization.
Joe Mauer is a backup at best on a playoff team.
Strange thought process, wrong conclusion.
The Twins weren't even trying to score runs over the weekend in San Francisco.
Well, you may actually have something there.
Arcia was first eligible to be recalled Saturday. When he reached the maximum allowed number of days on his rehab stint 10 days earlier, the Twins activated him from the disabled list and optioned him to Triple-A Rochester. That move can be defended, because Arcia was yet to play consistently in the lineup, and there was concern his wrist might require him to take an occasional game off.
The decision to leave him in Rochester instead of adding a cleanup hitter to a lineup that needed to score runs -- and an outfielder to a group employing shortstops and first baseman regularly in the corners -- is much harder to defend. The Red Wings were playing in Scranton, Pa., so, yes, it would have been a long flight to get Arcia to San Francisco.
"Didn't seem like a very good idea to have him travel cross-country," assistant GM Rob Antony said. "He can play in that game [Saturday in San Francisco] and then come back in another day game [Sunday], he comes back [to Minnesota], we get in late.
"Guy coming off a situation where he had been playing every day, we thought it was a little better situation for him to fly to Minnesota, get in at a good hour yesterday and be ready to go today when maybe the rest of the team had a longer night," Antony said Monday.
He added that both Arcia and Willingham "had good days on Friday--we don't overreact to a good day or a bad day. ... It's not that you're going to carry that over, get on a plane and go across country."
On this, I agree with the Twins. Just because Arcia went 3-for-5 with a home run and four RBIs on Friday does not mean he's likely to light it up Saturday in the big leagues.
But I think he had a better chance of doing so than fill-in cleanup hitter Chris Parmelee, or pinch hitter Chris Herrmann. Instead, the Twins scored two runs in 18 innings, with Parmelee (0-for-4, 5 runners left on base) and Kurt Suzuki (0-for-3, 1 runner left on) batting cleanup. The Twins lost, 2-1 Saturday, and 8-1 Sunday.
Would either outcome have been different with Arcia in the lineup? Not necessarily. But in this case it would have made the most sense to improve the roster at the margins.
The Twins apparently didn't see it that way.
My 1500 ESPN colleague wrote a nice column for the Star Tribune over the weekend and made a jab at the Twins, saying that "this baseball front office has a tendency to treat cross-country travel as though it takes place by rail."
The Veteran Ball Scribe pointed out a flight Arcia could have hopped on and made it to AT&T Park in plenty of time for Saturday's game. It's whimsical, but we don't need to know flight times to know Arcia would have upgraded the Twins' lineup Saturday and Sunday, and getting him from Pennsylvania to California shouldn't be prohibitive. If the travel was a problem, fly him out several days before you intend to call him up so that he can get a good night's rest.
"If we were playing in Boston or something, yeah, it's easy enough to just go and probably we might have done something with him on Saturday," Antony continued. "We thought it made more sense just to have him meet us here, be well-rested and ready to go."
The Twins were swept in San Francisco after willfully downgrading the lineup so Oswaldo Arcia could be well-rested and ready to go.
That seems worthy of Twins fans' ire.