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Twins demote Josmil Pinto back to Triple-A

Jun 11, 2014, 4:16 PM EDT

Josmil Pinto Twins AP

One side effect of the Twins signing Kendrys Morales to be their everyday designated hitter is that it pushed Josmil Pinto out of the lineup and, it turns out, back to the minors.

Rather than keep Pinto around as a backup catcher the Twins have decided to send the 25-year-old rookie to Triple-A. Development-wise he’s likely better off playing regularly in Rochester than sitting on the bench in Minnesota, but it’s odd that the Twins benched Pinto for 27 of their first 64 games before they even signed Morales.

Pinto has slumped recently and his defense behind the plate has been predictably shaky, but his .813 OPS in 64 games as a big leaguer is the 17th-highest mark in Twins history among every hitter with at least 200 plate appearances, ahead of guys like Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter, Matt Lawton, Chuck Knoblauch, Marty Cordova, Paul Molitor, A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Kubel, and Tom Brunansky.

Pinto’s career on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS are also higher than Morales’ marks since returning from a broken ankle in 2012. He can hit, but for whatever reason the Twins played him sporadically despite having the DH spot available and then decided Morales was a worthwhile upgrade, so now Pinto is left to beat up on International League pitchers for a while.

  1. dluxxx - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:38 PM

    Ish. Unfortunately (fortunately?) Suzuki just never stopped hitting, so there wasn’t any way that Gardy wouldn’t stick with him. Barring a Suzuki injury, or us selling off veterans for prospects at the deadline, I don’t think we’ll see Pinto again till September. Too bad, he’s going to be our C of the foreseeable future.

  2. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Jun 11, 2014 at 4:59 PM

    Maybe they thought a half-year of Morales now would be cheaper than a super-two year for Pinto later? Who knows. Maybe they were mad at him for the high OPS. It is just not the Twins way.

  3. twinfan24 - Jun 11, 2014 at 5:36 PM

    Pinto has been stuck on 7 HRs for quite a long time. His average isn’t high, although his OBP is okay. He needs to work on his defense, so getting more regular time catching will do him more good long term than DHing at the majors. Sitting at DH isn’t going to help him develop as a catcher. He has already shown he has at least a solid chance to be a capable hitter at the major league level, but he needs to work on his defense, and AAA is the place to do it. He is always just a call away. If he goes down and works hard, he will be back, and possibly back for good.

  4. drewzducks - Jun 11, 2014 at 6:12 PM

    In a related story the Twins are replacing Pinto with the even less reliable Gremlin, who is being called up from AMC.

  5. nawlinssaints1956 - Jun 11, 2014 at 7:17 PM

    Pinto has proven he can hit, but needs to play everyday to get better behind the plate. Look out for the Twins; the Hammer and Arcia are back, the starters are putting together quality starts, and even Joe got 3 hits today. Target Field is gonna be gun this summer, and I am not referring to the ASG next month…

    • happytwinsfan - Jun 11, 2014 at 8:09 PM

      That’s the spirit! Let’s save our self deprecating stoicism for the winter. We don’t really mean it anyways.

      We’ll chow down on kitten stew this weekend and be in first place by the time that exhibition game gets played in July.

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