Twins Wednesday: Twins make Chattanooga new Double-A affiliate

MINNEAPOLIS — After 20 years, the Minnesota Twins officially ended their partnership with Double-A affiliate New Britain.

The team announced Wednesday that the Chattanooga Lookouts of the Southern League will become the Twins’ new Double-A affiliate after signing a four-year player development agreement. The Lookouts recently served as the Double-A club for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The split between the Twins and New Britain came about because of an uncertain future for the Rock Cats. The team, which is under new ownership, could very well be moving to Hartford, Conn., but nothing has been finalized yet. There was a chance that the Twins could have returned to New Britain next year, but Minnesota felt a partnership with the Lookouts was a good match.

"We’re going to a new league. We’re going to a different schedule," said Twins general manager Terry Ryan. "We’ve changed locations, that’s it."

Meanwhile, things are a bit more stable in Chattanooga, an organization the Twins have plenty of history with. The Lookouts were a farm club for the Washington Senators — who eventually moved to Minnesota and became the Twins — from 1932 to 1959. The Twins also played an exhibition game against the Cincinnati Reds in Chattanooga at AT&T Field back in 2001.

"The Minnesota Twins are an upstanding organization and present an incredible opportunity for the Lookouts and the city of Chattanooga," Lookouts president/general manager Rich Mozingo said in a statement. "We are excited to partner with a team that has a deep history with the Chattanooga Lookouts.

It’s the second time in three years the Twins have switched minor-league affiliations. After the 2012 season, Minnesota moved its Low-A club from Beloit, Wis., to Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The Twins had their Double-A club in New Britain since 1995.

Meanwhile, New Britain announced Wednesday that it is now the Double-A affiliate of the Colorado Rockies, who previously were affiliated with Tulsa since 2003.

The Lookouts were the Southern League North Division champions this season. Their home park, AT&T Field, was built in 2000.

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Perkins to have MRI on Thursday: Twins closer Glen Perkins gave up a three-run go-ahead home run in Tuesday’s game against Detroit. What worried manager Ron Gardenhire more, though, was that Perkins’ fastball velocity was a few miles per hour lower than usual.

Ryan said Perkins will have an MRI on Thursday to examine his left arm, particularly the biceps and elbow areas.

"We’re going to give him a test on the left arm and see what’s going on," Ryan said. "He’s got a little soreness, but we’ll get it looked at. . . . There’s not anything I can tell you until we get him seen. Let’s hear exactly what the diagnosis is. I’ll wait until they tell me."

Perkins earned a trip to his second All-Star Game this season and has saved 34 games this year. But after allowing three runs Tuesday, his ERA for the season jumped to 3.65.

Arcia, Escobar both day-to-day: Perkins wasn’t the only Twin on Wednesday’s injury report. Outfielder Oswaldo Arcia and infielder Eduardo Escobar are both day-to-day with injuries.

Escobar injured his shoulder during Tuesday’s game against Detroit as he dove to make a play at shortstop. He was diagnosed with a jammed shoulder and left the game after suffering the injury.

"Day-to-day, which is good. I thought it might be a little bit more serious the way he walked off," Ryan said. "I think that one’s going to be OK."

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Arcia, meanwhile, injured his back on a swing Monday and did not play Tuesday or Wednesday. With an off day Thursday, the hope is that Arcia could return to the lineup Friday against Cleveland.

If Escobar misses an extended period of time, it could give the Twins a chance to get a few more looks at Danny Santana at shortstop. Santana came through Minnesota’s minor league system as a shortstop but was converted to a center fielder out of necessity earlier this year with the Twins. Since coming off the disabled list in mid-July, Santana has made just seven starts at shortstop in 55 games.

Santana got the start in center field Wednesday against Detroit, while Eduardo Nunez started at shortstop. Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said he wanted to get Nunez’s bat in the lineup since Nunez had good career numbers against Tigers starter David Price.

"For sure, Danny’s going to get some playing time at shortstop while (Escobar’s) out," Gardenhire said. "We’ll get him out there for sure, no doubt."

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