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Twins send down Aaron Hicks, Scott Diamond

Aug 1, 2013, 6:09 PM EDT

Aaron Hicks AP

Let’s face it: most of the good news for the Twins this year has come from the minors, as Byron Buxton and Miguel Sano have emerged as two of the game’s top five prospects. What’s happened with the major league club has been mostly bad.

That’s especially the case with Scott Diamond, the team’s best starter while going 12-9 with a 3.54 ERA as a rookie last year, and Aaron Hicks, the team’s former No. 1 prospect who won the center field job this spring. Both were demoted back to the minors on Thursday.

Diamond, whose season didn’t start until mid-April following December surgery to remove a bone chip from his elbow, was 5-10 with a 5.52 ERA and just 45 strikeouts in 107 2/3 innings. He had turned in just three quality starts in 2 1/2 months, and he gave up six earned runs in a loss to the Royals on Thursday. The Twins felt it was time to take a look at someone else, probably Andrew Albers, and now that the trade deadline passed without a Mike Pelfrey trade, that opportunity is coming at Diamond’s expense.

The 23-year-old Hicks showed improvement in June and the first half of July, but he had slumped again of late, leaving him at .192/.259/.338 in 281 at-bats for the season. The Twins took quite a risk this spring when they opted to have him skip Triple-A and go right to the majors, and it’s clear now that it didn’t pay off. Still, Hicks is young enough that no one is giving up on him yet. He’ll be back in September, and he’ll probably get another chance to play regularly then. In the meantime, the Twins will go with Clete Thomas in center and give Oswaldo Arcia another chance in a corner. The 21-year-old Arcia was recalled today after hitting .375/.490/.725 with four homers in 13 games for Triple-A Rochester last month.

  1. biasedhomer - Aug 1, 2013 at 7:13 PM

    They were really sold on Hicks in the offseason, trading away not only Span, but also Revere.
    But as always with prospects, its a crapshoot, better luck with the next one.

    • mikewimmer - Aug 1, 2013 at 7:45 PM

      Far, far too early to totally give up on Hicks. He is still quite young and has an extensive history of needing quite a bit of time at each level for things to click.

      Diamond is a different story since he overachieved pretty massively last season and has looked terrible this season. I still think a #4 or #5 starter is the high end for him.

      • bronco58lb - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:13 PM

        I don’t think this is an indictment of Hicks. Hicks played at Double-A New Britain last year. He was ticketed for Triple-A Rochester this year, but forced his way onto the big league roster with a torrid power hitting stretch during spring training. If anything, the Twins shouldn’t have let a hot spring influence their long-term decision process with Hicks. He had a nice bounce back year in the Eastern League, but this was the same guy that struggled to hit .242 and slug .368 in the Florida State League. There was no need to expediate his growth curve.

      • Bryz - Aug 1, 2013 at 9:37 PM

        I don’t think Hicks forced his way onto the roster as much as the Twins always wanted him in the majors and just claimed that it was a battle between him, Darin Mastroianni, and Joe Benson.

      • krazytrane - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:33 AM

        He went from double A to the majors. Where is his history of needing time to adjust!

    • krazytrane - Aug 4, 2013 at 2:30 AM

      Don’t forget trading GoGo to the Brewers. The key prospect obtained in the Johan Santana trade lives up to the hype and, along with Santana’s injuries, makes the Mets the loser of that trade. Unfortunately, GoGo plays CF for the Brewers. When the Twins gave JJ Hardy away the were the only loser. I wonder where they will trade Hicks when they prematurely promote Buxton to the majors. No matter where, the Twins trade partner will end up with yet another all star from the Twins’ farm.

  2. ndnut - Aug 1, 2013 at 7:36 PM

    Hicks has been the defensive bright spot on this team. Why he is being sent down, I have absolutely no clue. Besides, his bat has been decent, especially compared to the rest of the team.

    • concussedmorneau - Aug 2, 2013 at 9:34 AM

      Hicks is the best defender the Twins have. He has a 1.000 fielding percentage and is near the top of the league in OF assists. But, when the highest average he’s had is still below the Mendoza Line it doesn’t matter how good his defense is.

      Can you win a gold glove spending the last third of the season in the minors?

      • e5again - Aug 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        Can you win a Gold Glove with a batting average under .200?

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