MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins optioned struggling shortstop Danny Santana to Triple-A Rochester after Sunday's 2-0 win over the Brewers, and will recall first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas from Rochester before Monday's game against the Royals.
Santana, who was one of the top rookies in the American League last year, has been unable to replicate that success this season. He went 1-for-4 on Sunday, and is hitting just .218/.235/.291 with three triples and seven doubles in 49 games. He hit .319/.353/.472 with seven homers, seven triples and 27 doubles in 101 games last year.
Twins manager Paul Molitor said he's been seeing Santana pressing, and that it was time for him to regroup and find his swing at Triple-A.
"We've talked a lot of late about the bar he set and he's been really trying to get back to that situation offensively," Molitor said. "He's just a kid who has fun when he's playing well and it hasn't been very pleasurable for him as of late. You can see the struggles. So remove the burden of getting hits for a while, and obviously it's what you want to do, but it's a different spotlight."
With Santana optioned, Eduardo Escobar takes over as the club's regular shortstop with Eduardo Nunez serving as his backup. Vargas is expected to return as the club's designated hitter after batting .308/.403/.519 with two doubles, three homers and 8 RBIs in 16 games at Rochester after being optioned on May 17.
"Obviously you consider your options making roster moves. [Oswaldo] Arcia, after a long layoff, has had trouble getting it going down there. I think he needs more at-bats. Kennys started off well but has leveled off the last 10 days. But it's been two weeks of kind of piecing lineups in the middle of the order and at least this gives us more options."
Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.