4/9/2014 5:39 P.M. ET
Nunez a potential offensive weapon
By Rhett Bollinger / MLB.com
MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he was happy his club traded for infielder Eduardo Nunez, and that he expects to see him in the big leagues soon.
The Twins acquired Nunez from the Yankees for left-hander Miguel Sulbaran during Monday's game against the A's, and Nunez was sent to Triple-A Rochester.
Gardenhire said the Twins have always kept an eye on Nunez, as they like what he can bring offensively and on the bases. He's a career .267/.313/.379 hitter with 48 stolen bases in 59 tries in 270 games with Yankees. He can play shortstop, third base and second base, but he has struggled defensively throughout his career.
"We've always liked him," Gardenhire said. "We know he can swing the bat and run. He's a good base stealer and has a good arm. The talk is, and I've listened to [former Yankee] Phil [Hughes], that he can get a little sloppy [defensively] at times, but hopefully we can take care of that and get away from that stuff."
Gardenhire added that Nunez was sent to Rochester to get consistent playing time, as he was designated for assignment on Tuesday and hasn't played at all this season in the Minors or Majors.
"We have to let him get some swings," Gardenhire said. "He hasn't played in a while. So we'll let him get going down there and we'll see how he fits up here. We need offense and to score more runs, and we think this guy can help us."
Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said Nunez was recommended by four of the club's scouts who watched him during Spring Training. He acknowledged that advanced defensive metrics have not been to kind to Nunez, but said the Twins were looking for an offensive addition, and that Nunez can get better defensively.
"I'm pleased with the way we've gotten out of the gates scoring runs, but I think we understand that won't be the case all season, so we had the had opportunity to get an offensive-orientated player," Antony said. "He has had some defensive struggles, but our scouts believe he can play defensively at short or third. And offensively, he has more upside than some of the guys we have."
Twins place Arcia on DL, but not Willingham
MINNEAPOLIS -- Oswaldo Arcia was placed on to the 15-day disabled list Wednesday, when he was still feeling soreness in his right wrist while testing it out during batting practice on the field before the Twins' 7-4 loss in 11 innings. Outfielder Darin Mastroianni had his contract purchased from Triple-A Rochester, and he will join the Twins in time for Thursday's game against the A's.
Josh Willingham, who has a bruised left wrist stemming from being hit by a pitch from Justin Masterson on Sunday, hit in the cages and is expected to avoid the DL. But Arcia has been out since Friday with his wrist injury, and it hasn't been getting better, so he was put on the DL retroactive to Saturday.
"Willingham is still sore, but it doesn't have that biting pain, so he's heading in the right direction," Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony said before Wednesday's game. "Arcia took a full round of BP and still feels it, so I think there's a good chance we put him on the DL."
With Willingham and Arcia out of the lineup on Wednesday, Jason Kubel started in left field, while Chris Herrmann made his season debut in right field after being recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Monday with Jason Bartlett on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left ankle.
Herrmann gives the Twins flexibility, as he can play both corner-outfield spots as well as catch and play first base. He got the nod over Chris Colabello, who served as designated hitter after making his first start in right field on Monday. But Colabello worked with the outfielders during batting practice to get more reps in right field.
"[Herrmann] moves around pretty good anywhere we want to put him," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. "He had a good spring for us, with a good swing going. And this gives Colabello an extra day to take a few balls out there and see some more balls off the bat. We can kind of mix both of them out there."
Mastroianni will also give the Twins an extra outfielder, and one who can back up Aaron Hicks in center field. Mastroianni was swinging the bat well at Rochester, hitting .450 (9-for-20) with two doubles in four games.
Gardy honored in pregame for 1,000 wins
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins honored manager Ron Gardenhire for reaching 1,000 wins with a special pregame ceremony at Target Field before Wednesday's game against the A's.
Gardenhire reached the milestone on Saturday, becoming the 60th manager to reach 1,000 wins, and just the 10th do it all with one team.
The Twins showed a video tribute to Gardenhire before the game with highlights from his career. Several current and former Twins congratulated him in the video such as Tom Kelly, Joe Mauer, Joe Nathan, A.J. Pierzynski, Jesse Crain, Doug Mientkiewicz, Torii Hunter, Michael Cuddyer, Corey Koskie, Scott Ullger and Glen Perkins.
Gardenhire, with his wife, Carol, at his side, was then presented with a custom-made, hand-crafted humidor with 1,000 specially made Rocky Patel cigars. Perkins' father-in-law built the humidor, which was made to look like a locker and also had a team-autographed baseball and the ball from the final out of Saturday's game.
Gardenhire then took the microphone, and thanked the crowd for its support in his 13 years as Twins manager.
"I just want to say thank you to the Pohlad family, Dave [St. Peter], Terry [Ryan], Bill [Smith] and Jim Rantz -- a lot of people to thank, but mostly you fans," Gardenhire said. "You're the best. We're going to get this thing right. So stay with us."