Lost in the excitement of yesterday’s walk-off home run by Byron Buxton was this fun fact: The Giants claimed minor league shortstop Engelb Vielma off waivers. The Twins, of course, had DFAed Vielma earlier this week to make room of the 40-man roster for Gabriel Moya.
If you have no idea who I’m talking about, that’s okay. You might remember Vielma’s name because you saw it in spring training and didn’t know how to pronounce it, but that would be about it. He has yet to play in the majors (if ever). I wasn’t sure if any teams would bother claiming Vielma—a minor league shortstop known for his stellar defense and, uh, less than stellar bat (he hit .206/.233/.260 in 87 games at Triple-A this year)—but I guess the Giants needed an Ehire Adrianza replacement.
In fact, Ehire is one of the very reasons Vielma was totally expendable for the Twins. Adrianza is basically just a more evolved form of Vielma: a light-hitting, slick-fielding shortstop—except Ehire’s doing it in the majors. Not to mention the Twins have tons of more highly touted shortstop prospects down on the farm: Royce Lewis, Nick Gordon, Wander Jaiver, etc.
Plus, the Twins are in the middle of a playoff hunt, and the more arms they have the better. Calling up Gabriel Moya, so far, has done nothing but helped. Sure, he’s only thrown one scoreless inning in a 16-0 blowout win so far, but it counts! Pretty sure Moya had to be added to the 40-man after the season ended anyway.
So yes, it’s a minor move, but I still think it was a wise one by the Twins’ front office.
Good luck in San Fran, Vielma!