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The Sports Xchange, Published June 14 2013

Arcia has another chance to show he should stay with Twins

In a scenario that can only be named "Where's Oswaldo?" rookie outfielder Oswaldo Arcia is up for the third time this season.

Arcia, who was recalled from Triple-A Rochester on Tuesday, hopes to make it a permanent move this time, so he won't be so hard to find going forward.

Arcia was called up to replace rookie outfielder Aaron Hicks, who strained his left hamstring running out a ground ball in the second game of a doubleheader on June 9 in Washington. Hicks was placed on the 15-day disabled list, and the Twins, already short-handed in the outfield, needed another body.

The problem is the Twins needed a center fielder. Hicks has been exemplary in center - robbing homers, diving for catches, covering a lot of ground and compiling assists. Arcia is not a center fielder, so Hicks' absence means the only true center fielder remaining in the dugout is Clete Thomas.

In Arcia's first game back, he started in center field and batted sixth. He had four put-outs, including one long running catch that Phillies manager Charlie Manuel was impressed by.

"We some balls pretty hard," Manuel said. "We hit a ball into left field; a guy made a good catch on it."

At the plate, Arcia went 1-for-4 with an RBI double. Arcia's bat has never been a huge problem. In his first two stints with the big club, Arica batted 25-for-98 (.255).

He hit a slump, returned to Rochester, injured his shoulder and then just played as a DH. Now back up with the Twins, he will be expected to play outfield as well. General manager Terry Ryan said Arcia was healthy and they wouldn't have brought him up if he wasn't. But there also weren't a lot of options in center field.

"I think if we had a pure center fielder down there we might have considered that," Ryan said. "But I think the one thing we want to accomplish here: We're looking for some offensive punch. Arcia has a chance to give us an at-bat when he's up there. He's got the power potential that you are looking for, so we brought him up."

On Wednesday against the Phillies, Arcia made Ryan sound like a prophet. He went 3-for-4 with a double and three runs scored in the Twins' 4-3 victory. He and center fielder Clete Thomas comprised the offense and carried the Twins to victory. Arcia also hit a ball over the fence (albeit, foul) so far that managers Ron Gardenhire and Charlie Manuel were exchanging smiles across the dugouts.

"I think the home run ball he hit foul, I don't think I've seen one hit that far in a long, long time," Gardenhire said. "I even looked over at Charlie Manuel and he had a big smile on his face. Charlie more than anyone likes to see people go deep, and he hit that ball a long way."

Arcia followed it up with a 0-for-3 in the series finale against the Phillies, but he made a highlight-reel catch sliding into a wall in foul territory to make the grab. He has been great in the field and at the plate since his return.

Whether he stays or goes, Arcia is going to make some noise while he is up. That way we will all know where Oswaldo is.


MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 29-34

STREAK: Lost one

PAST 10 GAMES: 5-5

NEXT: Tigers (Rick Porcello, 3-3, 4.86) vs. Twins (Scott Diamond, 4-5, 5.19)


• RHP Kevin Correia allowed one run on eight hits and one walk while striking out six in five innings. The five innings were the fewest since going four innings on May 20 at Atlanta, a span of three starts. Thursday marked the third straight time he had allowed at least eight hits, and he has allowed at least seven hits in each of his last seven starts, since May 9 at Boston.

• LHP Scott Diamond has struggled of late. He had a few bad breaks that didn't go his way against the Nationals on June 9, ultimately giving up seven runs (six earned) on 10 hits and two walks over 4 2/3 innings. Diamond has just one quality start over his last six outings. He will try to get another one Friday against Detroit.

• RHP Cody Eppley was signed to a minor league contract Wednesday. Eppley was a reliever for the Yankees who was released on June 5, and he has been assigned to the Triple-A Rochester Red Wings. The Twins released Triple-A closer Anthony Slama, who spent most of the past five seasons with the Red Wings. "We had some people that we thought were better is all," general manager Terry Ryan said.

• 1B Justin Morneau (1-for-3) drove in two runs with a double in the seventh inning to put the Twins up 2-1. It was his 273rd double and 16th of the season. Three of his last five hits have been doubles.

• C Joe Mauer (1-for-3) has at least one hit in each of his last eight games at Target Field, hitting .423 (11-for-26). He also has at least one hit in 15 of his last 16 games at Target Field, hitting .424 (25-for-59) with a .521 on-base percentage. Before Thursday, his .380 batting average at home was the second best in the AL and third best in baseball. He is now hitting .378 (42-for-111) in 29 games at Target Field this season. Mauer has hit in Minnesota all his life.

• 3B Trevor Plouffe (left calf strain) continued his rehabilitation assignment Thursday with Triple-A Rochester. "I think he will tell us when he is ready (to return)," general manager Terry Ryan said. "The last thing I want to do is bring him back if he is not ready. So I think he will probably dictate his return on how he does."

• OF Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) has been working out and swinging a bat of late. Next in store for Ramirez will be to take some fly balls in the outfield. Before he returns to the club, he will have to be cleared to play and then go on a rehabilitation assignment.

QUOTE TO NOTE: "It was kind of a weird game. I threw a lot of pitches in five innings and didn't really walk many guys. Usually, you've got a lot of walks or a lot of strikeouts to throw that many pitches. It was just one of those games, throwing against a guy like Cliff Lee -- one of the best in the game for a long time. You don't have the luxury of giving up many runs. One in the first -- I had to hold them there and I was able to work out of five jams in five innings." -- RHP Kevin Correia, who gave up eight hits and one walk and struck out six batters in a loss Thursday.


MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - ROSTER REPORT


• RHP Ryan Pressly (sore right triceps) left the June 10 game, and he didn't pitch June 11-13.

• CF Wilkin Ramirez (concussion) went on the seven-day disabled list May 26. He is no longer experiencing headaches and is running and hitting off a tee.

• CF Aaron Hicks (left hamstring strain) went on the 15-day disabled list June 10.

• 3B Trevor Plouffe (left calf strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 29. Plouffe had just come back from the seven-day concussion DL when he suffered the calf strain. He began a rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on June 10.

• OF Darin Mastroianni (stress reaction in left ankle) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to April 16. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 22 after having surgery on a bone chip in his left ankle. His ankle was moved to a walking boot from a cast May 29.

• RHP Tim Wood (right rotator cuff strain) went on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to March 24, and he was transferred to the 60-day DL on May 24. He began a rehab assignment in mid-April, but he was shut down May 9.