Twins option Pinto back to Triple-A

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After Wednesday's 7-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays the Twins optioned catcher Josmil Pinto down to Class Triple-A Rochester.

Pinto started 19 games at designated hitter for the Twins as a way to get his bat into the lineup. But, with Kendrys Morales set to be the everyday designated hitter for the Twins moving forward and Kurt Suzuki serving as the primary catcher this season Pinto's playing time had been on the decline.

"He needs to play – it's not fair to him to sit," said Twins manager Ron Gardenhire. "He needs to get at-bats right now. He's had issues throwing and issues catching the ball lately. I think it's probably due to not getting enough reps back there. I think this is the right thing to do."

Pinto has had some struggles defensively, he has yet to throw out an opposing base stealer in 16 attempts. He has also made five errors.

To make matters worse, Pinto has been in a recent slump. He is 4 for 32 (.125) with 10 strikeouts and a .147 on-base percentage.

According to Hard Ball Talk, despite Pinto's recent slump 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.

That puts Pinto ahead of Michael Cuddyer, Torrii Hunter, Matt Lawton, Chuck Knoblauch, Marty Cordova, Paul Molitor, A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Kubel and Tom Brunansky.

His career on-base percentage, slugging percentage, and OPS are also higher than Morales' marks since he came back from a broken ankle in 2012.

The Twins said they will make a corresponding roster move prior to Friday's series opener in Detroit.

The Pioneer Press predicts that Eric Fryer could be the likely candidate to replace Pinto on the roster.

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