Twins outfielder/DH Robbie Grossman has been diagnosed with a fractured left thumb, the club announced (h/t Mike Berardino of the St. Paul Pioneer-Press, on Twitter). Grossman is expected to miss at least three weeks, manager Paul Molitor said (also via Berardino, on Twitter).
The Twins have come to lean rather heavily on the switch-hitter over the past two seasons. This year, in particular, he has seen near-regular time in the corners and as the designated hitter. Grossman carries a .242/.367/.363 batting line with seven home runs on the year. He has also walked 60 times against just 64 strikeouts.
Minnesota has managed to remain in the AL Wild Card picture despite moving a few veterans at the deadline. But that doesn’t necessarily mean the club will be angling to add players to make up for the loss of Grossman.
In all likelihood, the Twins will dip into their system for a replacement. Assuming the club prioritizes a bat over outfield capability, Kennys Vargas would be the obvious choice. He has managed only a .243/.289/.429 batting line in 190 major league plate appearances this year, but brings big power from the left side. Byung Ho Park is also still down at Rochester, though he carries a .254/.312/.413 slash in 382 trips to the plate and isn’t on the 40-man roster. Young outfielder Zack Granite will also be a consideration, though he didn’t hit much in his first run at the majors earlier this year.
If the Twins prefer an outfielder and decide to consider outside acquisitions, then Mets veteran Curtis Granderson could represent a potential targets. Role players such as Matt Joyce of the Athletics could also be hypothetical possibilities, or perhaps the Twins could get creative and go after a non-40-man player such as Scott Van Slyke of the Reds. It seems somewhat unlikely that the Rangers will dangle Carlos Gomez, given that they too are still a plausible Wild Card team.