Kennys Vargas spent one day with the Minnesota Twins in his latest stint, as the club announced Thursday morning that the first baseman/designated hitter has been sent back to Triple-A Rochester following the previous night’s game.
Vargas appeared in Wednesday night’s game to pinch-hit for starter Bartolo Colon, popping out in foul territory in the eighth inning. Vargas, who was granted a fourth-year option by MLB, has been promoted by the Twins four times this season, but has failed to capitalize on playing time at either level this season. He’s hit just .243/.289/.429 in 190 big-league plate appearances, and only marginally better in 173 with the Red Wings (.221/.341/.441).
September roster expansion and his performance in that final month may go a long way to dictating what sort of future Vargas has in the organization.
Moving in the other direction is left-handed pitcher Dietrich Enns, who’ll make his MLB debut by getting the start against the Brewers and Zach Davies at Miller Park on Thursday night. The move allows the Twins to back each of their starters up a day. That means Kyle Gibson, Jose Berrios and Ervin Santana are lined up to face the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park over the weekend before the off-day on Monday.
Enns came over in the Jaime Garcia deal, and was already on the 40-man roster of the Yankees. He battled a shoulder issue earlier in the season, but came back to post a 2.29 ERA at Triple-A Scranton-Wilkes Barre in seven starts prior to the trade. Enns fanned 8.5 batters per nine innings, walked just 2.3 and posted a stellar 1.02 WHIP. He is, however, already 26 years old, so he’s more or less a finished product with little left in the way of physical projection left. At that age, he’s also just a half-year younger than the average International League (Triple-A) contemporary — which isn’t saying much since it’s a breeding ground for older players not quite able to make the leap to the bigs.
READ: Twins trade Garcia to Yankees for Two Pitching Prospects
Jarrett Seidler of Baseball Prospectus is undoubtedly the high man in the prospect community on Enns, and he sees an unusual profile with mid-rotation upside.
Seidler said Enns was a pitcher with a “pretty good fastball at 89-93 with movement, and flashed three MLB-quality secondary pitches” back on May 2, 2016. Enns had Tommy John surgery back in 2014, which plays a large role in why he’s yet to see the big leagues. Add to that a strong Yankees bullpen and a 40-man roster crunch, and it’s easy to see why he was made available in a rental deal for Garcia. Nevertheless, make sure to click the link and read Seidler’s full report.
Seidler also had the Enns breakdown when the trade was made, and said that if not for an innings cap last year, he might have been called up to help the Yankees then. This is also a good link from Seidler, and you can see why he likes the guy. He keeps getting people out at every rung of the minors. Next up is the big leagues, and who knows….maybe he has some staying power?