Twins haven't received much production from trio in '15
By Betsy Helfand
MINNEAPOLIS -- Monday night's blockbuster trade featured two shortstops on the move while the Twins stood by. Troy Tulowitzki and Jose Reyes found themselves on the move, and while neither seemed like logical options for Minnesota given their contracts, the club hasn't gotten much production from the position all season.
After a solid rookie campaign, Danny Santana headed into this season as the Twins' No. 1 shortstop. Santana hit .319 in 101 games last season, but he has underperformed and he found himself out of the lineup for the second straight game in Tuesday night's 8-7 loss to the Pirates. Sunday, Eduardo Nunez got the nod at shortstop and Tuesday, it was Eduardo Escobar.
"I'm not trying to send [Santana] a message. I'm trying to come up with the best combination on a given day," manager Paul Molitor said.
Molitor said he's had conversations with all three -- and frequently -- as the Twins search for results at the position.
"I have talked to them about just when you get a chance, let it fly, don't be worried [that] if you don't get a hit, you're not going to play the next day. That doesn't work," Molitor said. "It's easy to go into that mode especially for a younger guy and your season isn't going particularly well. That's why you've got to keep trying to build them up."
Santana has received a bulk of the playing time at short, but he entered Tuesday with a .219/.243/.300 slashline combined with 16 errors, an especially high number considering he spent a portion of the season at Triple-A Rochester.
Still, he's played in a lot more games at short (64) than Eduardo Escobar (19) and Eduardo Nunez (14) combined, and general manager Terry Ryan said Santana's skillset gives him the edge.
"He's got skills. He can really throw and he can really run and he's strong and he's got athleticism and he's got plenty of range, but we need to see him finish, we need to see consistency, we need to see production with the bat somehow," Ryan said.
Ryan said it's hard to forget about Santana's rookie season, but there's no doubt they need more production from him, putting them into a "little bit of a bind."
But Minnesota's GM remained mum when asked if he'd feel comfortable standing pat at the position.
"If you've got a chance to get better, then you look at it," Ryan said. "If you've got a chance to just do something to make a move, that wouldn't be very smart, either. We've got three of them here."
Betsy Helfand is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.