The Sports Xchange

MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - INSIDE PITCH

MINNEAPOLIS -- In the third inning of a game Tuesday, Cleveland Indians first baseman Carlos Santana bunted against the shift. Because the third baseman Trevor Plouffe was essentially playing short and shortstop Eduardo Escobar was on the other side of second base, Santana easily reached with an infield single.

Immediately on the internet, many fans and baseball hardcores began debating: Did Santana break one of baseball's sacred "unwritten rules" by bunting to an open part of the field?

Many on social media felt he did, as did Twins television color analyst and Hall of Fame pitcher Bert Blyleven, who said he thought Santana bunting with two outs was a selfish move meant to pad his stats.

On the other hand, radio announcer Dan Gladden, a former outfielder for the Twins, felt the move was well within Santana's rights.

"I could see in a no-hitter, or if a team is blowing them out," Gladden said. "But right there, what is it, a (three) run lead? I have no problem with it."

Asked about the move Wednesday, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he had no issue with the move either, saying he preferred that to what happened in Santana's next at-bat -- a mammoth home run over the right field fence, conservatively estimated at 410 feet.

"We play shifts for one reason; he's a big home run guy and he pulls the heck out of it," Gardenhire said. "Whatever. It doesn't affect me one way or another. With two outs, I think his process is 'I'm going to try and hit a home run or a double.' When they do that, you have to think about it later in the game."

Twins closer Glen Perkins said he had no issue with it, as did catcher Kurt Suzuki, who was behind the plate when the bunt occurred.

"If you shift like that, you're going to be susceptible to the bunt," Suzuki said. "It's one of those things where you have to deal with it."


MLB Team Report - Minnesota Twins - NOTES, QUOTES

RECORD: 46-54

STREAK: Won one

NEXT: White Sox (RHP Hector Noesi, 4-7, 5.21 ERA) at Twins (RHP Phil Hughes, 10-6, 4.05 ERA)


--1B Joe Mauer swung in the cage before the game, another positive step in his return from a strained oblique that has had him on the 15-day disabled list since July 2.

--RHP Ricky Nolasco had the day off on Wednesday as he looks recover from an ailing right elbow that has had him on the DL since July 8. He is scheduled to throw a bullpen session on Sunday, and if all goes well, he could return to the Twins rotation as soon as next week.