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Twins Notes: Pinto, Morales, Kubel, Burton, Ex-Twins

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Happy Thursday. Let's talk baseball.

Jamie Sabau

Twins send Josmil Pinto to Triple-A

As Collin Kottke of Puckett's Pond points out, this is the right move to make. The question we should be asking, though, is why wasn't Pinto playing more in the first place? I'll be back later this morning with more on that fun topic. And it doesn't all have to do with Kurt Suzuki.

The Twins will make a corresponding roster move prior to tomorrow's game, since they'll definitely need another catcher on the roster. Unless Danny Santana can do that, too?

Kendrys Morales is on fire

It was a surprise that the Twins nabbed Morales at all, so maybe the fact that it came together quickly shouldn't be too much of a surprise. Bryz is on the nose when he calls this move proactive, and as Jeff Sullivan of FanGraphs points out, the Twins are getting what they want regardless of their own fortunes this season. But did anybody expect him to be hitting this well, this soon?

In three games Morales is 6-for-14 with three doubles, a walk, and two strikeouts. He cleared the bases last night with a double. It wouldn't surprise me to learn that he feels like he has something to prove after sitting on the shelf for more than two months. Maybe teams start pitching him differently now that they know he's not rusty, but give credit where it's due: Morales sees a pitch he wants, swings, and makes great contact. The early returns are off the charts.

Au revoir, Jason Kubel

After being designated for assignment in the wake of the Morales signing, Kubel has refused to accept a minor league assignment now that he's cleared waivers. To be fair, I don't think the Twins would want him there, either. He looks cooked. And it's probably time for Kubel to retire.

It's a swift fall from grace for a guy who slugged .506 with 30 home runs just two years ago. But that's how it goes, sometimes. In another universe he never had the big knee injury, and he's still one of the Twins' best hitters in the middle of the lineup. With Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau, obviously, since we're waxing sugary alternate timelines.

What's happening to Jared Burton?

The former set-up man's ERA has ballooned back up to 6.49 after shoving it below 6.00 for the fourth time this season, thanks to a two-run appearance yesterday afternoon. Velocity is down and command is spotty at the best of times. How long can the Twins continue to run him to the mound, especially when half of the bullpen isn't as good as the Twins desperately need it to be?

Ex-Twins

  • Grant Balfour is no longer the closer for the Rays.
  • Michael Cuddyer is out for six to eight weeks.
  • Myjah had this on Tuesday but it's worth repeating in case you missed it: it gets dusty in the room every time I read this story on Pat Neshek. I couldn't be happier for his family and the success that he's having this season, after such a troublesome road the last few years. I've always loved Neshek, and nothing would make me happier than to see him at the All-Star game in Minneapolis next month.
  • Myjah also had this on Tuesday but it's also worth repeating: Justin Morneau feels like he has unfinished business in Minnesota, even if the Twins feel like their business is finished with him. Like Neshek, nothing would make me happier to see him step into the left side of the batter's box at Target Field during the All-Star game, just to hear the thunderous and unending applause that would rain down upon him. Morneau is one of the best Twins of all time. I'll always hope against hope that he'll play here again someday.