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Sunday Twins notes: Pinto, Thorpe, May, Milone, Santana, Escobar

Back to work tomorrow. Yawn. Let's focus on baseball instead, because there's a lot to go over if you're a Twins fan.

Joel Auerbach/Getty Images

Your soundtrack is, specifically, the track Bridge Burning by the Foo Fighters. In general, your soundtrack is the full album Wasting Light. I love this record for any number of reasons, and while understanding that there's no accounting for taste I have no problem admitting it's a close second to The Colour and the Shape for my favorite Foo's album. Enjoy.

Josmil Pinto may be concussed

Pinto was clocked three times by Adam Jones on the follow-through of his swing on Saturday. Jones had apparently moved forward in the box after one of the knocks, but it sounds like a combination of off-speed pitches and Jones' long swing may have put Pinto at risk - especially if he was moving forward to receive the off-speed offerings.

A CT scan was negative but after Pinto reported headaches and dizziness and was, apparently, not quite himself, he was diagnosed with concussion-like symptoms. The Twins will hold him out of action for the next few days to see how he gets along, so we may not see him in game action again until next weekend, provided everything goes well and he checks out.

If Pinto doesn't check out and misses more time due to a concussion, Eric Fryer would be the likely addition to the 40-man roster as Minnesota's second catcher. With a full roster, this would necessitate someone either coming off of the 40-man or someone being added to the 60-day disabled list.

Lewis Thorpe undergoing MRI on throwing arm

Thorpe left his last outing early due to elbow pain, which is disconcerting considering how his 2014 season ended: on the disabled list with a sprained UCL. The Australian southpaw was clearly hoping that rest and rehabilitation would allow the UCL to strengthen to the point where surgery wouldn't be necessary, but at this point the results of an MRI almost feel superfluous. If Thorpe doesn't need to undergo Tommy John surgery in the near future, A) it'll be a surprise and B) it seems like it would only be a matter of time until he didn't have a choice.

Knowing how these things go and how long it takes to recover, the option of going under the knife is never an easy one but the sooner it happens the better. If Thorpe's elbow is causing him pain and he can't pitch, getting it taken care of will avoid that pain and will enable to him to begin rehabbing sooner. If he has the surgery within the next few weeks, he could be back for (hopefully) most of the 2016 season.

Thorpe, who is just 19, is a consensus Top 10 prospect in the organization thanks to his age, level, and performance. Here's hoping for the best.

The fifth starter role

We've had a discussion about Mike Pelfrey as the underdog for this role, but with Tommy Milone's most recent outing (he surrendered four runs; three on a home run) it's hard to know what it will take to swing Twins management in any given direction. While we're at it, Trevor May's performance on Saturday (four innings, three strikeouts, no walks, no hits, no runs) certainly put his best foot forward.

Most of our discussions in spring training regarding the fifth starter's job have revolved around Milone and Pelfrey, and for justifiable reasons. Yet May now has two good appearances under his belt, and as we mentioned over the winter...

  • there is no guarantee that the Twins keep Pelfrey on the roster, in spite of his $5.5 million salary, and
  • if everyone is healthy, the Twins could trade a starting pitcher near the end of spring training.

Can you be swayed on this? Or is it only a matter of time before the Twins option May to Triple-A since, like Alex Meyer, he was always destined to end up there anyway?

Danny Santana

Santana's preferred role, as far as Paul Molitor is concerned, is shortstop. Both the player and the manager have been forthright about this being his primary position, and Molitor just this weekend said he wasn't thinking about Santana's potential as being his starter in center field.

Neither Aaron Hicks nor Eddie Rosario are sure shots for the position, so the competition is clearly still wide open. Shane Robinson stuck his glove over the wall this weekend to take away a home run, too, so he continues to be the favorite dark horse among non-roster invitees. But with Eduardo Escobar on the roster and more than capable of starting at shortstop, Santana's role on this team out of spring training is still very much in flux.

Who will start at DH?

I have a hard time finding any reason to go this route. Reusse did follow up by pointing out how Vargas hit down the stretch and with a quote from Vargas' manager in Fort Myers Doug Mientkiewicz about how it can take Kennys a while to get going - both fair points - but neither of these arguments deal with the fact that this isn't an either-or situation.

Even in the scenario where Vargas doesn't make the opening day roster, shunting Torii Hunter, Oswaldo Arcia, Joe Mauer, and (if healthy) Josmil Pinto into the role are all better options than asking Escobar to be the everyday designated hitter. There are options; it's not just Vargas or Escobar.

Indeed, Vargas suffers from the same caveat this year as does Escobar - and Danny Santana, while we're at it. All three players hit much better in 2014 than could have been expected. Escobar's .275/.315/.406 triple slash was out of character last summer, much like Santana's .319/.353/.472 and Vargas' .274/.316/.456.

Let's see how things actually play out before we name as designated hitter a middle infielder who has never hit a lick prior to 2014.