So, the Danny Valencia Era starts suddenly, with the departure of Michael Cuddyer for bereavement leave until next Tuesday. As with Luke Hughes, Wilson Ramos, and Trevor Plouffe before him, it appears that he won't spend his time on the bench, either. Per Gardy, from today's Strib:
"[Valencia’s] going to come up and play," manager Ron Gardenhire said after the Twins' 2-1 loss to Seattle in 10 innings. "Put him in the lineup. We’re facing tons of lefthanders, two in Oakland for sure. Get him up here and let him swing."
The Twins manager then spent the next five minutes describing the wanton nature of Dale Scott's mother (at least, I hope he did).
Valencia has been one of the most buzzed-about Twins prospect of the last few years, especially given the Twins' need for a long-term answer at third base and the organization's seeming reluctance to bring him up to the majors. So, what can we expect?
- Valencia's numbers at Rochester this year: 48 games, 24 RBI, 0 HR, .298 BA and .731 OPS. The 0-fer home run total is odd, given his past performance at all previous levels, including his time in Rochester last year. That K-to-BB ratio isn't especially good, either.
- As Jon noted in his wonderfully piss-and-vinegary game story, Valencia was recently described over at Twins Target as "Nick Punto, but without any of those things that make Punto a useful player."
- Seth Stohs does not share Twins Target's pessimism. He's thrilled in the third person, even.
- As you may have noted, despite Monday's cameo at second, Michael Cuddyer is an outfielder, and Danny Valencia is not. So, who's the 4th outfielder now? LNP, right?
- Although the stated reason for calling Valencia up was the need for a right-handed bat, does the fact that an infielder got the nod also cause one to speculate that Orlando Hudson might be out longer than anticipated? In my case, yes. Yes, it does.
- Honestly, I'm just glad to finally see the guy in the majors, if only to see what he can do.
Your thoughts and wild, over-the-top speculation are appreciated in the comments section, as always.