The Twins will place outfielder Jake Cave on the 60-day injured list with a fracture in his back and select the contract of infielder/outfielder Rob Refsnyder, Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press reports.
The 60-day placement means Cave won’t return until at least the middle of July, which is a blow to the Twins’ outfield depth. Cave has played all three outfield positions this year and has totaled the team’s second-most appearances in center field after starter Byron Buxton, who is on the injured list with a strained hip. Fellow outfielder Alex Kirilloff, meanwhile, has been out of commission for almost all of May with a sprained wrist, and Kyle Garlick is playing through a groin injury.
While Cave has offered defensive flexibility, his offensive production has left much to be desired dating back to last season. He was a valuable offensive contributor for the Twins from 2018-19, during which he combined for a .262/.329/.466 line with 21 home runs in 537 plate appearances. But Cave had trouble at the plate last year and has put up a career-worst .167/.239/.262 line with one long ball and 35 strikeouts in 93 PA this season.
Cave’s injury will lead to another major league opportunity for the 30-year-old Refsnyder, whom the Twins signed a minor league contract in the offseason after he appeared in 15 games with the Rangers in 2020. Refsnyder has only hit .217/.305/.297 with four home runs in 457 major league PA.