Minnesota Twins: Will Darin Mastroianni Make an Impact Next Season?
With the MLB regular season waning, and the Twins likely to be finished in September, Bleacher Report looks at certain players on the current roster and evaluates whether or not they will have an impact on the team next season.
He may have been a waiver pickup, and he’s not an everyday player this season, but his speed on the diamond and in the outfield may lead to an increase in playing time next year.
If Denard Span ends up being traded and Ben Revere moves to centerfield, Mastroianni may become the team’s right fielder for the time being.
The team has put him at the two-hole in the lineup, and he’s batting .287/.349/.426 in 115 at-bats. It’s a small sample size, but the former Toronto Blue Jay says he’s feeling “as comfortable as you can feel in the big-league batter’s box.”
More pertinently, the guy can make a play in the outfield.
“He’s been making great catches all year,” says reliever Casey Fien. “He made one, my first outing, against the wall, he leaned over and made a play. It’s awesome having him out there.”
“We love him,” adds manager Ron Gardenhire. “The kid gets out there and when he gets in the ballgame he’s exciting. He runs all over the place, dives around.”
Mastroianni feels he’s a fit on the team and the Mount Kisco, New York native says he will do whatever he has to do to remain with the team.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s left, center, right, second—whatever—catcher, pitcher,” he said, listing the last two in jest. “As long as I can help us win, that’s the important thing.”
For now, Gardenhire says the team will just go day-to-day with him.
While he may eventually become a staple in the outfield, right now the key for him is to adjust to playing as a fourth outfielder.
“It’s hard when you’re not playing everyday,” he says. “You’re not used to doing that and then you have to face big league pitching after not playing for four days.”
Even though he’s played sparingly this season, he’s certainly made an impression.
Will Mastroianni make an impact next season?
“I’m very fortunate to be here,” he continued, “I love this organization and this city and hopefully I’ll be here for a long time.”
All quotes were obtained firsthand.
Tom Schreier writes a weekly column for TheFanManifesto.com.
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