Ugh, as if being thoroughly embarrassed by the Athletics' AAA squad wasn't bad enough, it looks like Joe Crede might be headed for the DL. He has an appointment with specialist Dr. Lewis Yocum tomorrow, after re-aggravating his shoulder during yesterday's game. Great, the Brendan Harris/Brian Buscher platoon will be back at third, opposing hitters are going to love that (it probably isn't a coincidence that the Twins surrendered 30 runs against Oakland with the Harris/Punto/Casilla infield). Not surprisingly, after giving up eight runs in under two innings, Glen Perkins will be visiting the same specialist. Apparently his shoulder has been bothering him again during warm-ups, though he claims it wasn't a problem during the games (this could be true, Perk was 4-2 with a 3.96 ERA since coming off the DL).
It's pretty safe to assume at this point that, unless they consider themselves sellers, the Twins won't be making any blockbuster moves at the trade deadline. They rarely ever make any major deadline deals to improve their club (the last was for Shannon Stewart in 2003), and there are simply too many holes to fill. The middle infield has the worst OPS in the league, half of the starting rotation is either ineffective or injured (or both), the bullpen is a mess, and now third base might (once again) be a problem. It's going to take more than one impact player to overcome all of that. Like it or not, this is essentially the team we have.
There is one faint glimmer of hope this season, however: If Crede does indeed end up on the DL then maybe, just maybe, the Twins will call up Danny Valencia. Valencia is batting .362/.376/.617 in AAA, and while he's always been a good contact hitter, he seems to be developing some power as well. More importantly though, he isn't Brendan Harris or Brian Buscher, and at least in this case the company line might be correct (say it with me now: "It's just as good as making a trade."). And maybe Jesse Crain will start to regain his pre-surgery form. Hey, it could happen. He's actually pitched pretty well in Rochester, posting a 2.55 ERA, 1.19 WHIP, and better yet, a much-improved 22/8 K/BB ratio in twelve relief appearances. He certainly can't be any worse than the other burning brides in the bullpen, anyway. You know what, it might just be the beer talking, but suddenly things don't seem so bad after all.