Twins skipper Rocco Baldelli said earlier this week that the organizational hope was for Byron Buxton, on the injured list with a hip strain, to begin a rehab assignment this weekend. It seems that won’t happen quite yet, however, as president of baseball ops Derek Falvey now tells reporters that Buxton is still having trouble decelerating without discomfort when he is running (Twitter link via The Athletic’s Dan Hayes). An exact timetable for his rehab assignment isn’t clear, but it apparently won’t begin until next week at the earliest.
The Twins have run journeyman Rob Refsnyder out to center field in place of Buxton and, in rather stunning fashion, received similar production at the plate. The 30-year-old Refsnyder, who signed a minor league deal over the winter, is hitting .438/.472/.719 in 36 plate appearances and has made the first nine appearances of his career in center field with the Twins. Obviously, that type of output won’t last, but it’s helped the Twins to patch things over in the absence of Buxton, who was hitting .370/.408/.772 with nine homers in 98 plate appearances before landing on the IL. Minnesota is arguably the game’s most disappointing team so far, but the Twins have won five of their last six.
Some more notes on the club…
- Falvey also revealed that hard-throwing righty Edwar Colina underwent an arthroscopic debridement procedure on his right elbow today and will be shut down from throwing for at least the next couple months (Twitter link via Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press). Colina would obviously need time to then build back up, so it would seem fair to wonder just how much he’ll be able to pitch at all in 2021. The now-24-year-old Colina tossed a combined 97 1/3 innings of 2.96 ERA ball across three minor league levels in 2019, topping out with a four-inning showing in Triple-A. He faced seven batters in the big leagues with the Twins last year but retired only one in that ultra-brief MLB debut. Colina averaged 97.3 mph on his heater last year and fanned more than a quarter of his opponents in that solid 2019 campaign. He’s ranked 21st among Twins prospects over at Baseball America and at FanGraphs, while MLB.com tabs him 17th in the system.
- Minnesota announced today that utilityman Luis Arraez is headed to the 10-day injured list due to a right shoulder strain. He first incurred the injury while sliding headfirst into second base in this past weekend’s series against the Indians. The versatile Arraez is an atypical hitter in today’s brand of three-true-outcome baseball. He’s fanned in just 11.1 percent of his plate appearances this year while walking at a 10.5 percent clip and using an all-fields approach with virtually no power. The 24-year-old is a career .318/.382/.406 hitter with more walks than strikeouts in 649 trips to the plate. His placement on the IL creates an avenue for the Twins to reinstate right-hander Michael Pineda from his own 10-day IL stint. Pineda is on the hill for today’s series finale against the Orioles.