Don’t Expect Alex Kirilloff Ready by Opening Day

Photo: Jordan Johnson - USA Today Sports

The Minnesota Twins were hoping to pencil Alex Kirilloff into their Opening Day lineup at 1st base but that’s probably not going to happen. Multiple reports from Twins’ insiders indicate an unlikelihood that Kirilloff’s recovering wrist will be healthy enough for game action by March 30.

Alex Kirilloff doubtful for Opening Day

“I’m not ready to volunteer that [Kirilloff] is good to go for March 30. That’s why they signed Donovan Solano. I’m just telling you. Some people thought ‘well is that an insurance policy for Polanco at 2nd base?’ No, that’s an insurance policy for Kirilloff at 1st base. On Polanco and Buxton, those guys are progressing as planned. Kirilloff… that’s another question.”

Darren Wolfson – Mackey & Judd (SKOR North)

As amazing as it would be to see Kirilloff’s swing back in its prime form over a sustained period, that feels like a difficult thing to count on, at least in the short term. To my knowledge, he has yet to even take live BP this spring, much less get into a game, although he’s been working in the cages.

Nick Nelson – Twins Daily

This is worrisome news for Minnesota Twins fans, but such realities have to scare Kirilloff much more. If this latest surgery doesn’t fix his wrist then what will?

We’re talking about a kid who should have been one of the best young hitters in the big leagues by this point of his career. Instead, we’ve gotten flashes of brilliance mixed with an onslaught of injury disappointment.

Kirilloff told Phil Miller (Star Tribune) that he still feels “it” in his wrist sometimes. In the next sentence, Alex expressed optimism that it is getting better every day. He hopes to adjust to any permanent issues that might linger going forward but that’s not something he’s proven capable of doing, to this point.

“It’s in a really good spot now for swinging,” said Kirilloff, 25, the Twins’ first-round pick in 2015. “I still feel it every once in a while, but it’s not painful. It’s just something you work through and hope your body eventually adjusts to.”

Alex Kirilloff via the Star Tribune
Expect Miranda to switch corners

The questions surrounding Kirilloff’s return could open an obvious position change for Jose Miranda, at least to start the season. Miranda has a bad shoulder that doesn’t hurt when he swings. His only action this spring has been at the DH position only.

Miranda played mostly first base last season. A move there, while his shoulder and Kirilloff’s wrist heal, feels natural. That would leave Kyle Farmer, Nick Gordon and Solano as possibilities at 3rd base.

The Twins have reiterated throughout Spring Training, however, that we can expect players to move all over the diamond, given the position flexibility many of them have.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan