Twins send down Hicks; Millone claims No. 5 starter role

Aaron Hicks hit just .206 in spring training.

Tony Gutierrez/AP

The Minnesota Twins’ 25-man roster continued to take shape after a number of cuts Saturday morning.

The most notable of the Twins’ cuts Saturday was Aaron Hicks, who was battling to earn a spot on the roster as a center fielder. Hicks played a total of 150 games in the majors over the last two years, but the former first-round pick batted just .206/.300/.324 in 13 games this spring. On top of that, manager Paul Molitor was reportedly annoyed by a number of mental mistakes made by Hicks in the outfield.

With Hicks’ demotion, it now appears that Jordan Schafer and Shane Robinson will split time in center field, with Oswaldo Arcia in left and Torii Hunter in right. Schafer joined the Twins last season when they claimed him off waivers from Atlanta, while Robinson is new to Minnesota this year after spending five seasons with the Cardinals.

Among the other cuts Saturday were right-hander Trevor May — who was one of the candidates for the No. 5 spot in the rotation — and infielder Eddie Rosario. The May demotion was coupled by the news that Mike Pelfrey was reportedly told he’ll be pitching out of the bullpen, meaning left-hander Tommy Milone will be Minnesota’s fifth starter. Milone came to the Twins last year in a trade with Oakland but was hampered by a neck injury late in the season. This spring, he is 0-1 with a 4.50 ERA in four Grapefruit League starts.

The Twins also reassigned right-hander Mark Hamburger to minor-league camp, meaning a total of 31 players remain in big-league camp, including five non-roster players.

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