Luis Matos reflected on the end of his time in Baltimore, his brief tenure in Washington, and his effort to get back to the bigs in a Star Tribune article on Wednesday.
“The transaction seemed strange when it hit the wires. There had to be a story behind it, and there was.
When the Twins signed Luis Matos to a minor league deal Dec. 18, they were adding to an outfield stockpile.
Matos entered spring training below at least six players — Carlos Gomez, Denard Span, Michael Cuddyer, Delmon Young, Jason Kubel and Jason Pridie — on the Twins’ outfield depth chart.
Just three years earlier, with his career unraveling rapidly, Matos had insisted he was an everyday player and nothing less. He refused to accept a bench role and got released by the Baltimore Orioles and Washington Nationals in a bitter two-month span.
Long considered one of Baltimore’s top prospects, Matos had batted .255 in 508 big-league games, and he was only 27 years old.
‘Those last two years went by pretty quickly,’ Matos said Wednesday. ‘But I got a lot of experience, and mentally I’m prepared for any job they’ll give me.’
He’s so intent on making an impression on the Twins he turned down an invitation to play for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic.
In the 2006 WBC, Matos went 3-for-9 with two doubles. He said he briefly regretted skipping this year’s event on Monday, when the Twins played Puerto Rico in an exhibition game and he caught up with former WBC teammates including Carlos Beltran and Alex Rios.”
Matos will likely wind up in Triple-A Rochester, the former longtime Orioles affiliate. Bob Mathews of the Democrat and Chronicle says he’s “worried about the 2009 Rochester Red Wings,” even with Matos.
“I see a team with decent starting pitching but lacking pitching depth and run-scoring potential.
I hope Minnesota Twins minor league supervisor Jim Rantz is looking for a power bat or two for the Wings, but it probably is too late for that.
Chuck Hinkel is gushing over Rochester’s potential five-man starting rotation. Of course, Chuck is the team’s director of media relations. His job is to pump up the Wings as a playoff contender — even when they aren’t.
OF Luis Matos/Matt Moses. Matos had a few decent seasons with the Orioles but hasn’t done much lately. Moses has been a bust so far.
Last year at this time, I was touting the Red Wings as a playoff team. They started slowly and finished fast but missed the postseason with a 74-70 record. Rochester led the 14-team IL in batting average and was third in runs and fourth in home runs. They were sixth in pitching with a 4.13 ERA.
On paper, these Wings don’t inspire much confidence. Maybe they’ll make the playoffs. If they do, I think even Hinkel would be surprised.”