Twins place Motter on DL, call up Astudillo

Versatile catcher joins big league club for first time; Jorge DFA'd

June 29th, 2018

CHICAGO -- The Twins placed utility man on the 7-day concussion disabled list and selected the contract of catcher Willians Astudillo to take his place on the roster. Right-hander was designated for assignment to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.

Motter was injured crashing into the right-field wall while attempting to make a running catch in Thursday's game against the White Sox. He underwent the concussion protocol after the game and was ultimately placed on the DL on Friday.

"There were some things that came back concerning," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "But I don't think I'm misspeaking by calling it a mild concussion. He's actually doing pretty well today."

Astudillo was called up for the first time after nine seasons in the Minors. He can play multiple positions and has been incredibly hard to strike out throughout his career. Astudillo has struck out just nine times in 188 plate appearances this year and only 76 times in 2,343 career plate appearances. He hit .290/.321/.489 with seven homers, 12 doubles and a triple in 49 games with Triple-A Rochester, getting named an International League All-Star.

"He's a guy who brings a bit of energy and is a spark plug," chief baseball officer Derek Falvey said. "We saw a little bit of it in Spring Training. So hopefully it gives us a little bit of a boost."

Astudillo, 26, said he can play any position and brought five gloves with him to Wrigley Field. In addition to catching, he's played left field, third base and first base this season with Rochester.

"I'm super happy and excited to be here," Astudillo said through an interpreter. "Anything to help the team. I'm just excited to be here and get to work."

Jorge, 24, hasn't pitched this season, as he's been dealing with a triceps issue. He has a career 3.27 ERA in eight seasons in the Minors and made two starts with the Twins, allowing nine runs in 7 2/3 innings.

"It's always difficult when you are making a decision around a guy who's on your roster and who you want to keep," Falvey said. "We felt this was a move we had to make to get a guy. You're in a National League park. Willians is somebody who has played really well for us in Rochester, and we feel like he can actually help us at several positions going through a set of six National League games."

Worth noting

• Shortstop went 4-for-7 in Thursday's doubleheader with Triple-A Rochester and is on track to join the Twins on Monday once his 80-game suspension is up. Polanco had been dealing with a cut on his right index finger, but the issue is behind him.

"He's in great shape physically," Falvey said. "Hopefully he's in a place where he can help us soon. He's fully healthy."

• The Twins continue to monitor at Class A Advanced Fort Myers, and Falvey said Sano's conditioning has been improving. He's lost weight as part of the program, but Falvey said it's more than just weight he's working on in Florida.

"He's done a good job," Falvey said. "But I've said it 1,000 times, it's not so much about the weight. We want him to be strong. He's a big man. We want the lower half to be strong to put him in a good position to hit the way we know he can."

• Left-hander joined the Twins on Friday in advance of his scheduled start on Saturday. Minneosta will have to make a roster move for Mejia, who posted a 1.41 ERA in five June starts with Rochester.

"He's throwing strikes, command of his fastball has been good, secondary stuff has been crisp," Falvey said. "We still think he's a guy, as we said last year, that can help us up here."