Twins release third baseman Batista

Twins release third baseman Batista

MINNEAPOLIS -- Tony Batista is no longer a Twin.

The club announced Monday that it had released the veteran third baseman, who was designated for assignment on June 13. Batista, 32, hit .236 with five home runs and 21 RBIs in 50 games this season.

In June, Batista hit just 3-for-22 with no RBIs.

"We were hoping Tony would be able to hit a few more home runs," manager Ron Gardenhire said last week. "He's been wonderful here, a quality person, just what we thought when we brought him over. It's just that we're not getting the production we need."

Batista signed with the Twins on Dec. 15 with the hope of adding power to their lineup after he spent the entire 2005 season with Fukuoka Softbank Hawks in the Japanese Pacific League. Batista, who was in his 12th Major League season with his sixth different club, is a career .251 hitter.

Since the Twins optioned Batista for assignment on June 13, Nick Punto and Terry Tiffee have both started games at third. They've combined to go 5-for-18 with a home run.

Jason Brummond is an associate reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.