The Twins have selected the contract of veteran righty Nick Vincent from Triple-A St. Paul and placed shortstop Andrelton Simmons on the restricted list, tweets Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. Minnesota has also reinstated outfielder Brent Rooker from the paternity list and optioned lefty Andrew Albers to Triple-A.
Simmons’ placement on the restricted list is due to visa-related issues, Aaron Gleeman of The Athletic reports (via Twitter). He’s in the process of establishing permanent residency in the United States but would reset that process by traveling to Toronto, so he’ll miss the entire Jays series. Presumably, shortstop duties will fall to utilityman Nick Gordon in Simmons’ absence. Jorge Polanco, the Twins’ former everyday shortstop who moved to second base this year, could certainly pick up some reps there as well, if needed.
It’s been an ugly year at the plate for Simmons, who signed a one-year, $10.5MM contract with the Twins over the winter. He’s batting a career-worst .223/.285/.277 (58 wRC+) with just 15 extra-base hits (12 doubles, three homers) through 390 plate appearances. Defensive Runs Saved (10) and Outs Above Average (15) still rank him among the game’s best defensive players, but the 2021 campaign marks a third consecutive season of below-average offense for the 32-year-old.
This will be Vincent’s second stint with the Twins this season. The 35-year-old was sharp in his prior look, holding opponents to one run on four hits and a walk with four strikeouts through 4 1/3 frames of relief. He’s spent the bulk of the season with the Triple-A affiliates for the Twins and Rangers, pitching to a combined 4.40 ERA with 28.4 percent strikeout rate and a 6.6 percent walk rate.
Vincent has appeared in the big leagues in each of the past ten seasons. He’s been a consistent and seemingly underappreciated option over the years, logging a lifetime 3.37 ERA with a 24.2 percent strikeout rate and a 6.1 percent walk rate. He’s posted a sub-4.00 ERA in eight of his ten MLB seasons (this year’s small sample included) and recorded identical 4.43 marks in the other two campaigns.