Questions Remain Surrounding Buxton’s Knee, Kirilloff’s Wrist

Photo: Jeff Wheeler - Star Tribune

The Minnesota Twins have a Monday off-day this week, but they will be back on the field Tuesday, in Chicago, to face the White Sox. Kenta Maeda and Tyler Mahle are both out of with injuries so the Twins’ rotation, which has been one of the best in baseball through one month, is a bit banged up.

Byron Buxton’s knee is still giving him issues.

The lineup, on the other hand, is pretty healthy. First and foremost, Byron Buxton has played in 26 of 29 games, all of them as the designated hitter. Acquiring Michael A. Taylor before the season has already paid dividends, in that regard. He’s provided a great center field glove, as expected, along with a surprising boost to the bottom of the order, on offense.

Still, fans want to see Buck in the outfield. Unfortunately for us, we shouldn’t expect to see him out there anytime soon. According to Aaron Gleeman (The Athletic), Buxton is still having issues with his knee.

Byron Buxton has been limited to designated hitter duties because his surgically repaired right knee remains an issue and the Twins want his bat in the lineup as much as possible, believing Gold Glove-winning offseason addition Michael A. Taylor can hold down center field in the meantime. They laid out their plan for Buxton late in spring training and have stuck with it through one month.

Aaron Gleeman – The Athletic

The rest of the twins’ lineup continues to get healthier. Joey Gallo took a series and a half off earlier in the season, due to an injury, but he is having one of the best starts to his career (1.063 OPS, 7 HR, 14 RBI). Not to mention, he’s played a very good 1st base. Jorge Polanco looks like an MVP candidate after starting the year on the IL, batting .333 with a .923 OPS, 2 HR and 9 RBI in the first nine games of his 2023 season,

Correa had an underwhelming April, but he’s healthy and playing a great shortstop. Jose Miranda (3B) and Trevor Larnach (LF) have remained healthy and contributed in the middle of the order, as well. Even Max Kepler has gotten on a hot streak since returning from his own IL stint a couple of weeks ago.

Healthy lineup only part of Kirilloff being optioned

The Twins’ run of good health and strong play, throughout the lineup, is part of the reason why Alex Kirilloff was optioned to AAA St. Paul, after his rehab stint expired on Monday. Yes, he has been dominating minor league pitchers over the last couple of weeks, but the Twins don’t have a lot of room for him. But that’s not the only reason. According to Phil Miller (Star Tribune), the organization does not have a lot of faith in Kirilloff’s often-faulty wrist.

Kirilloff, meanwhile, will be with the Saints, as he has been for the past two weeks, but with a difference. His rehab assignment has officially expired, forcing the Twins to activate him from the major league injured list, which they did Sunday night.

But doubts about his right wrist remain, after surgery was necessary each of the past two summers, so the team chose to option him to St. Paul until they are certain he’s ready for promotion.

Phil Miller – Star Tribune

Let’s just hope that the Twins’ concerns, for both Buxton’s knee and Kirilloff’s wrist, are just overcautious concerns. Like a mom during grad party or prom season. But, if the Falvey, Rocco & Co are worried, then I am a little bit too.

Reminder: Cord-cutters are not out of luck, when it comes to watching the Twins this summer. Fubo TV offers Bally Sports North, unlike almost all other streaming services. They also offer a free one-week trial, if you are skeptical. Learn more and/or sign up HERE.

Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan

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