Mike Berardino / St. Paul Pioneer Press
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The final straw, Byron Buxton said upon his return to the 10-day disabled list with a fractured left big toe, probably came in the ninth inning of an eventual 2-1, 14-inning loss Tuesday night. Sent in to pinch run after Mitch Garver’s leadoff single against Kansas City Royals closer Kelvin Herrera, Buxton let two pitches go by without attempting to steal second base. Ehire Adrianza bunted Buxton over on the third pitch, but the lost out proved just as instructive as it was costly.
MINNEAPOLIS—Byron Buxton knew his swing could struggle after going four weeks between major league at-bats and skipping a rehab assignment. After sitting Buxton twice in a span of six games, Twins manager Paul Molitor chatted with his young center fielder in hopes of boosting his confidence. "Just tried to get a feel of where he was at and I tried to affirm him about his ability to hit," Molitor said. "I think he knows it. He knows when he puts too much pressure on himself and tries to do too much and overthinks his at-bats."
MINNEAPOLIS — When Jason Castro signed a three-year, $24.5 million contract with the Twins in November 2016, Mitch Garver could have been tempted to fire his agent. That's because Fred Wray represents both Castro, the former Houston Astros all-star noted for his defense, and Garver, then 25 and coming off a second straight assignment at the prestigious Arizona Fall League. Instead of dumping Wray for placing such a prominent road block in his way, Garver listened to the logic behind the move.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Lance Lynn insisted this would be just another start for him. There would be nothing special about this first-ever assignment against the St. Louis Cardinals, his former organization for the past decade. Turned out Lynn was right. The three innings he worked on a muggy, slow-moving Wednesday afternoon fit neatly with the rest of his abbreviated body of work with the Twins, who have now lost six of the eight starts the veteran right-hander has made since signing 17 days before the season opener. “For me it was another bad start this year,” Lynn said after a 7-5 loss.
MINNEAPOLIS — Twins catcher Jason Castro is out for the rest of the season after surgery on his right knee Tuesday, May 15, in Vail, Colo., turned out to be more involved than expected. Rather than remove a portion of the torn meniscus in Castro’s knee, as magnetic resonance imaging exams had suggested, Dr. Robert LaPrade of The Steadman Clinic went ahead and did a full repair of the meniscus. Castro will have a rehabilitation period of five to six months.
ANAHEIM, Calif.—Minnesota Twins reliever Addison Reed was a baseball-crazy kid growing up in Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., about 40 miles west of Angel Stadium, when he got the opportunity of a lifetime. This was back in late '90s during a family trip to Tempe, Ariz., to watch Angels spring training. "One year we were there kind of early, just watching the guys work out, and some guy with blond hair comes up to me and asks if I want to bat boy," Reed said. "Being the baseball fan that I was, I was stoked. I said, 'Heck, yeah.'"
ANAHEIM, Calif.—Even before driving in the game-winning run with a ninth-inning sacrifice fly in Friday night's 5-4 comeback win, Twins catcher Bobby Wilson had a productive visit to Orange County. The former Los Angeles Angels backup visited South Coast Plaza on Wednesday's off day to have his watch cleaned and adjusted. This isn't just any watch, mind you, but a gift from former Angels teammate Ervin Santana to commemorate the no-hitter on which they collaborated on July 27, 2011, a Wednesday afternoon in Cleveland.
ANAHEIM, Calif.—Twins third baseman Miguel Sano went through a similar early workload on his 25th birthday, hitting on the field and indoors, doing some agility work and taking grounders at third while firing across the diamond. He also tested his strained left hamstring for the first time by running the bases lightly. "I think there's still a little stiffness in there," Molitor said. "I'm not sure if it's from the injury or from the work we've been putting him through."
MINNEAPOLIS — Jaime Garcia has no hard feelings toward the Twins, even if they did turn him into the answer to a trivia question in a span of six days last July. To prove it, the veteran left-hander nearly signed back with them as a free agent this offseason.
ST. LOUIS — Byron Buxton seemed to pass his final test on Tuesday morning, running the bases at Busch Stadium in a variety of scenarios in order to see if his fractured left big toe could hold up under game conditions. Afterward, Buxton huddled with team medical staff and Twins manager Paul Molitor and was unable to hide a slight smile while meeting with the media. "I'm pretty excited," the Twins center fielder said. "I've been out long enough. I've got the itch to get back out there and just try to keep the squad going and keep bringing in the wins."