When the Twins signed Robbie Grossman on May 16, you probably yawned. If you noticed at all. Grossman had the kind of nondescript, journeyman resume typical of a player that would be available to a bad team midseason. Instead, the outfielder has become a mainstay in a Twins line-up showing some signs of life.
Originally drafted by Pittsburgh in 2008, Grossman was dealt to Houston as a minor leaguer in 2012. He debuted with the Astros in 2013 and hit an uninspiring .240/.327/.341 in 190 games over three seasons with the club.
Grossman inked a minor league deal with Cleveland in December, but failed to make the Indians out of spring training and opted out of his contract last month before catching on with the Twins. In 31 games so far with the local squad, the 26-year-old has a slash line of .295/.431/.533 with 5 homeruns.
Whether or not Grossman will trend toward previous production or has truly made a big league break through remains to be seen, but for now, the Twins are content to enjoy the ride. I caught up with Grossman during the last homestand.
DZ: You’ve been here a few weeks and, obviously, things are going pretty well for you. Can you talk about that a little bit?
GROSSMAN: I am just excited to be a Minnesota Twin. Excited for the opportunity and looking forward to winning some more ball games.
DZ: You started out with (the) Cleveland (organization), can you just take me through the series of events (that led) to you being in Minnesota?
GROSSMAN: I was with Cleveland and I had an opt out date of (May) 15 and, they chose not to call me up, so I opted out and here I am.
DZ: When you are free agent and you see a team like the Twins who isn’t doing as well as they hoped, do you see a real good opportunity to get playing time?
GROSSMAN: Yeah and I have a good agent, Brian Ware, and he led me in the right direction.
DZ: Were you surprised at how quickly you got caught up?
GROSSMAN: It happened quickly and I am just ready whenever my name is called.
DZ: Did you play at Rochester at all?
GROSSMAN: Yeah, I played one game at Rochester in North Carolina.
DZ: You come here, right away, hit a homerun…it’s kind of like an audition, you have to produce right away.
GROSSMAN: I’ve been in this spot before. The last three years I was up and down with Houston and I’ve done this many times.
DZ: When you do have a big game right away, does that help you just kind of relax a little bit? Take the pressure off?
GROSSMAN: Yeah, it feels good to help contribute and help a team win a ball game.
DZ: Did you know any of the Twins players at all?
GROSSMAN: I knew Brian Dozier…we played in the (Arizona) Fall League together. I played winter ball with Juan (Centeno). Just a couple of guys.
See more of David Zingler’s player interviews:
June 20: Buddy Boshers
June 13: Max Kepler
May 23: Seimone Augustus
May 6: Casey Fien
April 28: Tyler Duffey
April 20: Ryan Pressly
April 14: John Ryan Murphy