In a surprise move, the Twins are set to promote top outfield prospect Alex Kirilloff for what would be his MLB debut during the first round of the postseason. Phil Miller of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune reported last night that the move was being discussed, and both Seth Stohs of TwinsDaily.com and Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com (Twitter link) hear that Kirilloff is indeed being added to the big league roster. His contract will need to be formally selected, although fellow rookie outfielder Brent Rooker is on the 10-day IL with a season-ending forearm fracture, so he could just be moved to the 45-day injured list to open a spot on the 40-man roster.
The move to bring Kirilloff up could very well mean bad news for either Byron Buxton or Josh Donaldson, each of whom has been hobbled by injuries recently. Buxton showed concussion symptoms after being hit in the head by a pitch late last week, while Donaldson has again been dealing with calf issues. Both Buxton and Donaldson worked out with the club yesterday, and manager Rocco Baldelli tabbed it a “relatively good day” for both players.
If and when Kirilloff is added to the roster there’s no guarantee he’ll draw a start in the series. Even if Buxton is sidelined, the club could lean on Eddie Rosario, Jake Cave and Max Kepler across the outfield. Kirilloff, as is the case with that trio, is a left-handed bat, so he wouldn’t even necessarily draw a platoon-based date with Houston lefty Framber Valdez. At the very least, however, he’d give the club an intriguing lefty bat to pinch-hit. Kirilloff has experience at all three outfield positions and at first base as well, so Baldelli could work him into the mix in a variety of ways.
More to come.