Twins center fielder Byron Buxton exited Friday’s game with what initially looked like it could be a notable knee injury, but an MRI over the weekend ruled out any structural damage. Manager Rocco Baldelli told reporters Monday morning that Buxton is feeling optimistic and that within the next day or two, the Twins would be “talking about a specific plan for getting him back out there” (Twitter link via Do-Hyoung Park of MLB.com). President of baseball operations Derek Falvey joined the booth as a guest during the broadcast of today’s game and added that the hope is for Buxton, who has not been placed on the injured list, to rejoin the lineup at some point during the Twins’ upcoming series against the Royals. The Twins will travel to Kansas City for a three-game set running from Tuesday through Thursday.
The latest on some more health situations around the game:
- Righty Taijuan Walker is headed out on a minor league rehab assignment this week and is expected to start for the Mets’ Class-A Advanced affiliate on Wednesday, tweets Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. Walker, who landed on the injured list last week due to a case of bursitis in his pitching shoulder, may only need the one rehab appearance before being cleared to return. DiComo suggests the 29-year-old right-hander will likely line up to start one of next week’s games against the Cardinals. Walker’s first outing of the season lasted just two innings, but it seems he’ll be able to make a swift return to the rotation, barring any setbacks of note during his rehab outing. Walker posted a 4.47 ERA in 30 appearances for the Mets in 2021.
- Padres star shortstop Fernando Tatís Jr. has progressed to participating in light on-field baseball activities, writes AJ Cassavell of MLB.com. The two-time Silver Slugger award winner simulated taking ground-balls during infield practice before tonight’s game against the Reds, throwing the ball across the diamond to first base. Tatís is still wearing a brace and has yet to progress to fielding or swinging a bat as he rehabs from the mid-March surgery he underwent to repair a fractured scaphoid bone in his left wrist. The Padres initially placed a three-month timetable on his return to the field, though Cassavell writes Tatís recently opined he’s ahead of schedule in his recovery. The organization won’t make any firmer timetable until he begins to swing a bat, which manager Bob Melvin says will be the final baseball activity the team allows him to take. Tatís is on the 60-day injured list and ineligible to return until the first week of June. In all likelihood, he’ll be out for a bit beyond when he’s first eligible to return, but it’s welcome news that he’s progressed to getting some pre-game work in on the field.