Park Byung Ho of the Minnesota Twins ended up in the club's minor league team
Angela Jung, April 3, 2017, 9:40 a.m.
Park Byung-ho of the Minnesota Twins ended up in the club's minor league team on Saturday despite his impressive performance during spring training. With the new Major League Baseball season starting on Sunday, many were taken aback by the news that Park was excluded from the Twins' 25-man roster.
Park hit six home runs and drove in 13 RBIs, ending spring training with a batting average of 0.353. What's more, he led the team in all three of these statistics. Then why has Park been sent to the minor league team?
Coaching staff said the current make-up of the team gave them no choice. Teams in the American League usually select 12 pitchers and 13 hitters for their 25-man rosters. But the Twins opted for 13 pitchers and 12 hitters this season, as they lack depth in starting pitchers.
It seems Park is thought to lack versatility in defense. As a potential designated hitter, he would either not field or else play first base, the position with the smallest defensive burden. This may have seen him edged out by utility players.
Another possibility concerns Park's contract. According to one source, "MLB contracts usually include a limit on the number of times a player can be assigned to a minor league team. But Park is playing under a minor league contract this season, so he was the easiest one to send down."
Whatever the reason, the consensus among local media is that Park is highly unlikely to spend the entire season in the minors.