4:48pm: Kirilloff’s recovery timetable is roughly eight weeks, tweets Helfand. He’ll go through that rehab in Fort Myers, where the Twins have their Spring Training facility and Class-A Advanced team. Kirilloff could return to Minneapolis to work out with teammates and be around the club late in the season, but the Twins believe the surgery will end the year for him.
3:50pm: Twins outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff will undergo surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right wrist this week, tweets Betsy Helfand of the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He’ll be placed on the 10-day IL today, and utilityman Willians Astudillo will be recalled to the Major League roster in his place.
The wrist issue has plagued Kirilloff throughout the season. He missed two weeks back in May with what the team termed a right wrist sprain, though a sprain by definition involved stretching/tearing of the ligament to some degree. The Athletic’s Dan Hayes notes that Kirilloff has known since that time that he could continue to play through the injury if he felt well enough to do so or undergo season-ending surgery (Twitter links). It would seem the issue has become problematic enough that he’ll now opt for the latter option.
The surgery likely brings Kirilloff’s rookie campaign to an end with a .251/.299/.423 batting line, eight home runs, 11 doubles and a triple through 231 plate appearances. Given that he’s been playing through a ligament tear of some degree for the past two and a half months, it’s a solid first showing for the 23-year-old.
Kirilloff, the Twins’ first-round pick at No. 15 overall back in 2016, has long rated as one of the top offensive prospects in the minors. He’s had some injury issues in the past, most notably requiring Tommy John surgery in 2017, but Kirilloff has hit at every level since being drafted. He’s a lifetime .318/.366/.503 hitter in the minors and was regarded highly enough by the team to make his Major League debut last year during the Twins’ Wild Card playoff series against the Astros.
Moving forward, Kirilloff can be expected to hold down a place in the Twins’ everyday lineup for several years — be it as a corner outfielder or a first baseman. He and fellow first-rounder/top prospect Trevor Larnach have both held their own against big league pitching as rookies in 2021, despite the absence of a 2020 minor league season to keep them as sharp as possible. Kirilloff is controlled all the way through the 2027 season and won’t reach arbitration for another two years.