Minnesota Twins Soap Opera: Trade Valencia, Recall Nishioka
Like sand through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives…
According to a Boston Red Sox press release (h/t Boston Globe), the Minnesota Twins sent their struggle of a third baseman Danny Valencia to Boston for outfield prospect Jeremias Pineda after the Red Sox claimed Valencia on waivers. It seems like a simple story, but there are layers of Twins storylines here.
Third base has been like a bad soap opera for the Twins ever since Corey Koskie left. The Twins thought they finally filled that spot with the emergence of Danny Valencia. Valencia played well enough in 2010 to get third place in AL Rookie of the Year voting, but then it all went south from there leading to his demotion early this season.
Manager Ron Gardenhire thought he had essentially "killed off" nemesis Danny Valencia and like every good soap opera he was easily replaced by someone sexier and more intriguing, Trevor Plouffe. Soon Plouffe went down with injury and Valencia returned from the dead (Triple-A Rochester). Quite the story, but there’s so much more.
The Twins sent Valencia to Boston while playing the Red Sox in Fenway. One of those classic "grab your bags and go to the other clubhouse trades," but Danny was in for a quite a surprise. I’d love to believe that Danny grabbed his bags from the Twins clubhouse and went to the Boston clubhouse only to be handed a bus ticket to Pawtucket.
That’s right, Danny Valencia was optioned to Triple-A once again after becoming property of the Red Sox. Thus concludes the Danny Valencia saga for the Minnesota Twins, for now at least. The departure of one nemesis brought back one of the biggest fears for Twins fans, Tsuyoshi Nishioka.
Who would you rather be stuck with?
The most overhyped Twin in franchise history was thought to be buried at Triple-A for the duration of his contract after a horrible 2011 campaign where at times it looked like he barely knew how to play the game. With Valencia’s departure a roster spot opened up, but the Twins didn’t bring up the red hot Chris Parmelee. No, they brought up Nishioka.
Maybe Nishioka will surprise Twins fans and play up to the hype that he came with from Japan, but his numbers at Rochester don’t hint at it; he’s only hitting .245. Nishioka will meet the Twins in Cleveland on Monday for the start of their series against the third-place Indians, who the Twins happen to be just three games behind.
That’s another wrinkle to the never-ending Twins soap opera. If it wasn’t for that horrible start, the Twins would be very much in playoff contention. Are they closer to a failure or a playoff contender? That’s for another episode though.
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