The Twins recently placed designated hitter Nelson Cruz on the injured list Friday with a ruptured tendon in his left hand, but he won’t need surgery, Betsy Helfand of the Pioneer Press reports. Cruz will resume baseball activities Tuesday.
At last look, the Minnesota organization was expressing optimism of just this outcome. But it took a visit to a specialist to confirm that there was no further damage that might require surgical intervention.
This is relieving news for the Twins, who’ve seen what once looked like an insurmountable lead in the American League Central shrink to nothing. Minnesota held an 11-game advantage over Cleveland as recently as June 15, but the teams are now tied after the Indians took three of four in the clubs’ weekend series. The Twins had to go without Cruz for the majority of that set, as he departed the opening game Thursday with his injury.
The 39-year-old Cruz has been on the IL twice this season because of left hand problems, but they haven’t had a deleterious effect on his production. The long-excellent slugger is amid one of his most impressive seasons yet, having slashed .294/.384/.650 with 32 home runs and a career-best 164 wRC+ through 373 plate appearances. Thanks in no small part to Cruz, the Twins have looked like playoff shoo-ins for months. Now, though, they’re only four games up on a wild-card spot, making it all the more imperative for Cruz to heal quickly.