Written By: Dan Cook, WCCO Radio
“Hey kid, you’re going to the show…”
That’s the sentence every aspiring baseball player wants to hear. For Twins rookie Oswaldo Arcia, that call came over the weekend as outfielder Wilkin Ramirez’s wife went into labor and he had to exit on paternity leave.
As is usually the case when a Twins minor-leaguer gets “the call,” Manager Ron Gardenhire put Arcia into the starting lineup right away, though not in the manner either expected.
Originally, Arcia was slated to be the team’s designated hitter – the role most expected him to fill while he was up with the club since his natural position, right field, was occupied by the healthy Chris Parmelee. But when Josh Willingham couldn’t go due to illness, Gardenhire moved Arcia to left field – a position he’s played in only 31 of his 338 minor league games.
What was Arcia’s reaction? He smoked a single in his first at-bat en route to a 1-for-3 night, with his two outs coming on well-struck fly balls.
“I was very content. I was just looking for a good pitch to hit, and got it there and hit it,” said Arcia describing his first major league hit.
While he seemed comfortable at the plate, his evening in the field was a little more adventurous. Brendan Harris hit a lazy pop-up to left in the seventh. Pedro Florimon retreated from short, but Arcia called him off, and proceeded to squeeze his glove a bit too soon, dropping a sure out.
When asked after the game what happened on the play, he laughed, shook his head and in his best English said, “I don’t know.”
With the Twins leading 5-2 in the 8th, Arcia was lifted from the game in favor of Aaron Hicks, with Darin Mastroianni shifting to left as his defensive replacement.
In his post-game press conference, Ron Gardenhire praised Arcia saying, “He’s gonna hack. He’s fun to watch. He can swing it. He’s not afraid.”
Unfortunately for Oswaldo, he got an early dose of the business of baseball as he was informed following the game that he’s been optioned back to the minors after the Twins found out that Ramirez will be returning from paternity leave tomorrow.
“He’ll get his time here. He’ll get plenty of it here. Let him go back and get some more swings in and we’ll work this thing out here and see what we’ve got,” said Gardenhire.
Welcome to the big leagues (sort of), rookie!
You can hear both Arcia and Gardenhire’s comments below:
Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire