Carson ready for an opportunity with Twins
Outfielder called up from Rochester following injury to Span
KANSAS CITY -- Outfielder Matt Carson didn't stay off the Twins' roster long.
After being optioned to Triple-A Rochester following his first five games with the Twins on Aug. 23, Carson was recalled on Friday to take the spot of the injured Denard Span. The series opener against the Royals was rained out and the teams will play a doubleheader on Saturday.
"Unfortunately, it did take somebody going on the DL. You never want to see anyone get hurt, but at the same time, it does open a door for me. This time, I just have to capitalize on the opportunities I get," Carson said.
Span went on the disabled list on Thursday, retroactive to Tuesday, with a right shoulder injury.
Carson, who signed with the Twins as a free agent in November, spent much of the season with Rochester before having his contract selected on Aug. 17. He appeared in five games, going 8-for-21 with a double, a run scored and an RBI. Carson started all five games, four in right field and the other in left. He then played five with Rochester, collecting seven hits in 17 at-bats.
"Little bit of a roller coaster ride, getting called up, playing a few games. Circumstances came about where we needed some pitching, so I went back down, played a few games down there and then came back up here. It's been a whirlwind, but I'm glad to be back," Carson said.
He did well with the Red Wings this season, hitting .282 with 14 home runs, 53 RBIs and 64 runs scored in 115 games.
"I know with Denard being on the DL, there is going to be a spot in the outfield that they're going to be looking to fill," Carson said. "We've got a few guys that can play outfield, so it's probably just a platoon role, but any chance I get, any opportunities, I'll try to make the most of it."
Carson was slated to start in left field on Friday.
Vasquez, Walters expected to join Twins' roster
KANSAS CITY -- With rosters eligible to be expanded on Saturday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said the club has two players it plans to add.
The Twins plan to select the contract of right-handed pitcher Esmerling Vasquez from Triple-A Rochester and activate right-handed pitcher P.J. Walters from the 60-day disabled list.
Vasquez was selected off waivers by the Twins last September after spending eight years in the Diamondbacks' organization. He appeared in 141 games -- all in relief -- for Arizona in the last three seasons, posting a 4.66 ERA.
In 31 games this season with Rochester, Vasquez went 9-6 with a 2.78 ERA. He allowed just 31 earned runs in 100 1/3 innings. He made eight starts with the Red Wings, and Gardenhire said there was a "strong possibility" that Vasquez could start Sunday's game against the Royals.
Walters originally went on the 15-day disabled list on June 14 with right shoulder inflammation. He was transferred to the 60-day DL on July 28, and he's made six rehab appearances since Aug. 4, the latest coming on Thursday, when he threw five innings against Buffalo.
Walters allowed four runs on five hits, including a home run. He struck out five and walked two in taking the loss.
Gardy eyeing improvement in Twins' rotation
KANSAS CITY -- With a group of young starting pitchers manning the Twins' rotation the rest of the way, manager Ron Gardenhire said that he's looking for continued improvement.
"You just want to see improvement like [Liam] Hendricks did his last outing. He kind of figured it out a little bit. Hopefully he can maintain it and get more experience. Also, hopefully, he'll be able to harness everything and continue the process of developing at the Major League level," Gardenhire said on Friday. "That's what you hope to see. The same way with Cole De Vries, we'll see what he does the rest of the way, how he goes. And Scott Diamond, we're seeing a pitcher in the making, here, and he's doing very well with it.
"Now it's about finishing out the season, continuing to do what they're doing and giving us chances to win. That gives us a tougher decision next spring when we start looking at the pitching staff, and that's what you hope, that all these guys do make it tough."
With rosters eligible to expand on Saturday, Gardenhire also mentioned the possibility of the rotation growing past five arms.
"We want to see some people pitch, get some people up here. That's a possibility, a six-man [rotation]. It could be move somebody to the bullpen, whatever we want to do," Gardenhire said.
Williams, Sano named Midwest All-Stars
KANSAS CITY -- A pair of Twins prospects were named to the Midwest League postseason All-Star team.
Right-handed reliever Corey Williams and third baseman Miguel Sano were the selections, with Sano being named the league's Prospect of the Year. Both players play for the Beloit Snappers.
Sano batted .260 with 27 home runs and 98 RBIs in 126 games this season. Williams was 4-4 with a 3.58 ERA and 16 saves in 46 appearances.
Vinnie Duber is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.