The Twins announced they have activated outfielder Max Kepler from the 10-day injured list. As expected, the right fielder returns after the minimum time off due to a left adductor strain.
Kepler has taken a bit of a step back from his breakout 2019 effort. After hitting .252/.336/.519 (121 wRC+) with 36 home runs last year, he’s down to .220/.322/.431 over his first 143 plate appearances this season. That’s still productive, though, and Kepler’s .222 batting average on balls in play hints at a bit of forthcoming positive regression. Even if he settles in as more of an above-average regular than a true star, Kepler’s a plenty valuable piece of the Twins’ lethal lineup. At 29-18, Minnesota’s a lock for the postseason, but they’re jockeying with the White Sox and Indians in a three-way battle for the AL Central. Chicago currently leads Minnesota by one game.
Unsurprisingly, fellow outfielder Brent Rooker is hitting the injured list in a corresponding move. The former supplemental first-rounder was lost for the season yesterday after fracturing his forearm on a hit-by-pitch.