A demotion for a player that's 24 isn't the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination. We spoke about the struggles of Danny Santana on Friday, and he sat out that opening game of the series. He was 0-for-3 with a strikeout on Saturday and 1-for-4 with a strikeout today, but there was nothing he could have done over these last three days that would have given him a way around this decision.
With just two hits in the last nine days, the writing was on the wall for Danny. Hopefully he gets his feet and his confidence back under himself at Triple-A, and he can return to Minnesota later in the summer - or perhaps in 2016 - as a better, more complete player who is ready to adapt to a game that had clearly adapted to him. His line with the Twins is .218/.235/.291 in 49 games, with 48 strikeouts and two walks.
In his place comes Kennys Vargas, whose last game with the Twins was three weeks ago today. Minnesota optioned him to Triple-A after a .248/.295/.362 start, and at the time there was a belief that the move was made in part because the Twins were going on the road to a National League ballpark where Vargas would mostly be redundant.
Vargas' time in Triple-A showed him to be fully capable of hitting pitching at that level. Having never played above Double-A before his call to the Twins last summer, how he responded to the challenge was something worth watching. He blew up the opposition, hitting .327/.414/.551 with three home runs, 18 strikeouts, and eight walks in 58 plate appearances.
These are moves that are beneficial for both the players involved and the Major League team. Santana will get time to work on his game, particularly on the offensive side, without costing the Twins runs. With Santana on the way out, Eduardo Escobar should take over as Minnesota's everyday shortstop. Eduardo Nunez will spell him - as well as Trevor Plouffe and Brian Dozier - when the need arises. Vargas, meanwhile, should resume his role as the club's primary designated hitter who will take a day at first base from time to time.