The Minnesota Twins have optioned shortstop Danny Santana to Triple-A Rochester and recalled first baseman/designated hitter Kennys Vargas, the team announced Sunday.
After hitting .319 as a rookie with the Twins last season, Santana hasn't been able to bust out of a season-long slump; his batting average has dipped to .218 and he has 49 strikeouts compared to only 2 walks.
“He’s (Santana) just a kid who has fun when he’s playing well, and it hasn’t been very pleasurable for him as of late,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said Sunday, according to the Pioneer Press. “You can see the struggle. (This will) remove the burden of trying to get hits for awhile. Even though that’s what you want to do, it’s a little different spotlight.”
Santana's response when asked by 1500 ESPN if he was upset with the decision: "No way. I'm bad. I'm not hitting well. They need to do something."
Vargas, whose return brings switch-hitting power to the middle of the batting order, was hitting just .233 over his past 10 games at Rochester. He began the 2015 season with the Twins before being demoted in mid-May.
However, his overall numbers (16 games) at Rochester are impressive. The 24-year-old is hitting .320 with 3 home runs and 8 RBIs.
Parker Hageman noticed a possible slight change in the batting stance of Vargas and speculated on it being possible instruction from the team.