Minnesota Twins GM Terry Ryan says Valencia's future is 'up to Danny'

Danny Valencia is working hard at Class AAA Rochester, Twins general manager Terry Ryan says, adding, "That's a good thing." Right now, though, working hard isn't enough to get him back to the big leagues.

Though he won the third base job as a rookie, and led the team in RBIs in his first full season, Valencia has all but fallen off the big league club's radar since his demotion to the Red Wings on May 9.

Since reporting to Rochester manager Gene Glynn, Valencia is batting .237 with four homers, 11 doubles and 22 RBIs in 45 games through Thursday, June 28. He also had drawn only 10 walks and had an on-base percentage of .279.

"If we felt comfortable bringing him back, we would," Ryan said Friday. "He's not ready."

Valencia hit .311 in 85 games as a rookie and won the starting job out of camp in 2011. The average dipped to .246, but he led the Twins in games played (154) and RBIs (72) and was given the starting job out of camp this spring. But after batting .190 with one homer, 11 RBIs and 23 strikeouts in 27 games, the Twins sent him back to Rochester for a tuneup.

Since then, Trevor Plouffe has taken the third base job and run with it, hitting .275 with 14 homers and 25 RBIs in 38 games, though he also has fanned 38 times. Asked if Plouffe's future is at third base, Ryan said: "It depends on how much he hits. It depends on what Valencia does. We aren't overcrowded with too many good players."

Valencia declined a recent request for an interview. In his past 10 games, he's batting .231 with two homers, three walks, eight strikeouts and six RBIs.

"It's up to Danny, I'm going to tell you that," Ryan said. "It's not up to me and it's not up to Gene (Glynn) and it's not up to Gardy. It's up to Danny. Go ahead and do some things down there that push our hand and say, 'We need to make room for him.' "

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