Rosario Gets On-Field Revenge

Twins' prospect punishes baseballs after surgery





MINNEAPOLIS—A baseball did this to Eddie Rosario. A baseball split open his face, forced him to have surgery and gave him a steel plate just above his upper lip. Apparently, Rosario now intends to make every baseball pay for the damage done to him.

The 20-year-old Puerto Rican returned from a frightening injury after seven weeks on the disabled list and proceeded to bash every baseball he could reach. Rosario clubbed 11 hits in his first four games back with low Class A Beloit, and had at least one hit in every game for a week.

That's a big relief to the Twins, who weren't sure how one of their top prospects would recover after a batting-practice line drive smashed his face on June 12, doing enough damage that a surgeon eventually had to insert a small plate between his nose and mouth to strengthen the bone.

Rosario was back in the field, too, to continue his transition from the outfield to second base, where the Twins dream about having a rare (for them) power-hitting middle infielder.

"I feel like I'm learning some new skills at second base. I'm starting to understand how to field the ball, get into position," Rosario said. "I still want to play center once a week or so to keep my skills there, but I'm feeling good at second."

The Twins also feel good about his progress. After leading the Rookie-level Appalachian League in home runs (21) and slugging (.670) in 2011, Rosario has shown newfound plate discipline in the Midwest League.

"He started trying to use the opposite field, and it's not affecting his power because he picks his spots," Beloit manager Nelson Prada said of Rosario, who was hitting .312/.370/.495 with eight home runs and 53 RBIs in 285 at-bats."

TWIN KILLINGS

• The Twins added a handful of prospects by trading lefthander Francisco Liriano and third baseman Danny Valencia. Infielder Eduardo Escobar and lefthander Pedro Hernandez, acquired from the White Sox for Liriano, were assigned to Triple-A Rochester. Outfielder Jeremias Pineda came over from the Red Sox in the Valencia deal and was assigned to the Rookie-level Gulf Coast League club.

• Righthander Alex Wimmers, the Twins' first-round pick in 2009, needs Tommy John surgery. He hopes to return late in the 2013 season.