The Rochester Red Wings announced on Tuesday that the Minnesota Twins have re-signed five former Red Wings to minor league deals for the 2014 season. Among those re-signed include INF James Beresford, INF Doug Bernier, OF Jermaine Mitchell, RHP Lester Oliveros and RHP Virgil Vasquez.
James Beresford made his Triple-A debut with the Red Wings in early June last season after beginning the 2013 campaign in New Britain (AA). The Wings primary second baseman down the stretch hit .298 (59-198) with 21 RBI in 58 games for Rochester. The 24-year-old batted .381 (8-21) in the Wings five-game playoff series loss to Pawtucket - including a tied for career-high four hits in Rochester's Game One win.
After an outstanding 2013 season which saw him reach the Major Leagues for the first time since 2008, Doug Bernier returns to the Twins organization in 2014. The Wings slick-fielding shortstop batted .295 (89-302) with three homers and 41 RBI in 92 games for Rochester before the Twins purchased his contract on July 14. Bernier, whose only other Major League appearance was a two-game stint with the Rockies in 2008, spent the entire second-half of the year with the Twins hitting .226 (12-53) with 5 RBI in 33 games.
Jermaine Mitchell, 28, split the 2013 season between Lehigh Valley (Philadelphia) and Rochester. After hitting .256 (53-207) with five home runs and 18 RBI for the IronPigs, the Phillies released Mitchell on July 1. The Twins signed him two days later and the Naples, TX native would spend the rest of the year with the Wings, where he batted .286 (38-133) with two homers and 11 RBI in 43 games. Mitchell finished the season strong hitting .350 (21-60) over his final 13 starts.
Lester Oliveros spent the entire 2013 season on the Red Wings disabled list recovering from Tommy John surgery. The 25 year-old reliever made 19 appearances for the Wings in 2012 going 1-2 with six saves and a 3.07 ERA (10 ER/29.1 IP). Originally signed by Detroit as an amateur free agent in 2005, Oliveros came over to the Twins organization in a trade with the Tigers in August of 2011.
In his first season in the Twins organization, Virgil Vasquez split time between the starting rotation and bullpen going 4-7 with a save and a 4.41 ERA (43 ER/87.2 IP) in 23 games (13 starts) for the Wings. He also made seven starts for New Britain in the middle of the season going 3-3 with a 3.14 ERA (17 ER/48.2 IP).
The Red Wings begin the 2014 season, their 12th as the Triple-A affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, on Thursday, April 3 against the Buffalo Bisons at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo, NY. The Wings open their 18th season at Frontier Field on Saturday, April 5 vs. Buffalo.