4:50pm: The Twins don’t seem overly concerned about Buxton, who’s dealing with soreness, manager Rocco Baldelli said (via Park). Baldelli added Buxton’s surgically repaired labrum is in good shape.
3:55pm: The Twins have placed catcher Mitch Garver (right intercostal strain) and center fielder Byron Buxton (left shoulder inflammation) on the 10-day injured list, per Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com. In other moves, they selected catcher Ryan Jeffers and recalled both righty Zack Littell and outfielder LaMonte Wade Jr.
Already down third baseman Josh Donaldson for the past three weeks, the Twins are now missing a couple more regulars in Garver and Buxton. But Garver, who was quietly one of the majors’ elite offensive performers in 2019, has started slowly this year with a .154/.262/.212 line and just one home run in 61 plate appearances. Fortunately for Minnesota, backup Alex Avila, who has played frequently thanks to Garver’s struggles, has gotten on base at a 41.5 percent clip through 41 PA, though he hasn’t hit for average (.200) or power (one homer).
With Garver down, Jeffers will join Avila to make up the Twins’ top two catchers. Jeffers, 23, joined the Twins as a second-round pick in 2018 and has posted great numbers at all four minor league levels at which he has played (rookie ball, Single-A, High-A, Double-A). MLB.com ranks Jeffers as the club’s sixth-best prospect, crediting him for his all-around game and positing that he looks like the Twins’ “catcher of the future.”
Buxton’s injury looks rather troubling when you consider he underwent season-ending surgery on the same shoulder last September. There’s no word this time on whether he’ll require an absence of more than 10 days. Like Garver, Buxton has not begun well at the plate (.221/.225/.456 with five HRs in 71 attempts). The defensive standout has once fared splendidly in that area, though, and has played center in every Twins game over the past couple weeks. Max Kepler, Jake Cave and Wade took the reins there last season when Buxton went down. They’re candidates to do so again now.