MLB: Twins drop Vargas; report says Miguel Sano coming up
By Mike BerardinoSt. Paul Pioneer Press CINCINNATI -- For the second time in six weeks, Kennys Vargas has been demoted to the minor leagues. This time, however, the Twins are sending their slumping slugger all the way back to Double-A Chattanooga...
By Mike Berardino
St. Paul Pioneer Press
CINCINNATI - For the second time in six weeks, Kennys Vargas has been demoted to the minor leagues.
This time, however, the Twins are sending their slumping slugger all the way back to Double-A Chattanooga.
“I’m sure he’s not a happy gentleman right now but it’s probably the right thing for him to do,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said. “He had a couple moments since he’s been back. It just hasn’t been to where we feel he’s a guy you (can expect) run production from. He needs to go down there and get back to hitting.”
The Twins did not immediately announce a corresponding roster move, but slugging third baseman Miguel Sano figures to receive consideration as a possible replacement at designated hitter. According to MLB.com, the 22-year-old Sano will indeed be promoted, joining the Twins in time for Thursday’s start of a key four-game series with the division-leading Kansas City Royals.
Sano is coming off a blistering stretch for the Lookouts, slugging .800 in a 10-game span. He has hit better than .300 in each of the past two months after struggling to a .159 average in April.
After missing the entire 2014 season following Tommy John surgery on his throwing elbow, Sano has struggled at times defensively, but he figures to get the bulk of his playing time at DH. In 66 games this season, Sano has driven in 47 runs while posting a .371 on-base percentage in 241 at-bats.
Sano would become the third top prospect recalled by the Twins in recent weeks. Byron Buxton, the No. 1-ranked prospect in the game, debuted on June 14 in Texas, and right-hander Alex Meyer joined the Twins’ bullpen last week in Milwaukee.
Buxton struggled at the plate and landed on the disabled list last week after suffering a thumb injury while sliding.
Other options included outfielder Aaron Hicks, on a rehab assignment at Triple-A Rochester, who had a three-hit game Wednesday afternoon.
Fellow outfielder Oswaldo Arcia, who had his rehab assignment converted to an option last month, had a four-hit outburst Wednesday that included three runs batted in and just his second homer of the year for the Red Wings.
Vargas, a switch-hitting sensation as a rookie last season, singled in three trips Wednesday but is hitting just .245 with a .277 on-base percentage in 159 big-league at-bats. He has five homers on the year for the Twins, including one off Chicago’s John Danks on June 22.
With Reynaldo Rodriguez holding down first base at Triple-A, the decision was made to skip Vargas back to a level he last saw in July 2014.
“I think in his situation the at-bats haven’t been consistent enough to where I feel we can get them very consistently for him up here,” Molitor said. “It’s a good fit for him to go there. They’ve been hurting for a first baseman. (This will) give him a chance to go play a lot defensively and get consistent at-bats.”
Molitor said he and general manager Terry Ryan have “talked about a couple options” to replace Vargas on the big-league roster.
Hicks was dropped all the way to Double-A last June and worked his way back to the majors by September.
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