The Twins announced that they’ve placed outfielder/first baseman Alex Kirilloff on the 10-day injured list due to a right wrist sprain and reinstated Miguel Sano from the injured list in his place. Kirilloff’s IL placement is retroactive to May 4. Minnesota also optioned lefty Brandon Waddell to Triple-A St. Paul and recalled fellow southpaw Lewis Thorpe, who’ll start tonight’s game.
It’s an ill-timed setback for the Twins and for the 23-year-old Kirilloff, a former first-round pick and consensus Top 50 overall prospect in MLB who’d been their hottest hitter of late. Kirilloff was called up for an audition two weeks ago, and while he got out to a miserable 0-for-15 start, he’d finally begun to see his huge hard-contact rates bear fruit.
Kirilloff homered four times in the Twins’ series victory over the Royals this past weekend and came back with a pair of doubles Monday against the Rangers. Over his past seven games, Kirilloff had put together a blistering .321/.333/.857 batting line with seven extra-base hits and 11 runs knocked in.
The team has yet to provide a timetable for when the promising slugger might return to the club. Manager Rocco Baldelli rather vaguely told reporters yesterday that that the injury “doesn’t appear to be the most minor of things,” adding that Kirilloff would see a specialist (link via Meagan Ryan of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune). It’s particularly concerning given that Kirilloff endured multiple IL stints in 2019 due to problems in that same right wrist.
Sano has been out for a bit more than two weeks due to a hamstring strain. He opened the season in a dreadful slump, going just 5-for-45 to begin the 2021 campaign. Sano has walked at what would (obviously) be a career-best 22.4 percent clip and has actually cut back on his prolific strikeout rate through his first 58 plate appearances, but some of those punchouts have simply been swapped out for pop-ups; he’s already up to six infield flies this year.