Twins outfielder (and sometimes designated hitter) Jason Kubel has been on the 15-day disabled list since the end of May with a sprained left foot.
He began a minor league rehab assignment earlier this week and was hoping to return to the Minnesota starting lineup in a matter of days, but that plan is going to have to be put on a bit of a delay.
According to La Velle E. Neal III of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Kubel was lifted from a rehab game Thursday at High-A Fort Myers after tweaking his left foot while chasing after a ball. It’s not a serious setback, and the 29-year-old is going to attempt to resume his rehab assignment on Friday night.
“I knew I was going to have to play through a little pain,’’ Kubel said in a phone interview with the Star-Tribune, “but it was a little bit more than just a little. So I didn’t want to keep going like that. Just a little setback.”
Kubel, 29, was batting .310/.355/.465 with five home runs and 30 RBI in 217 plate appearances before suffering the left foot injury. The Twins, still 11 games under .500, sure could use that offense right now.
For a few days, it looked like Aaron Judge was finally hitting his stride in the postseason. He was still striking out at a regular clip, piling more and more strikeouts atop the 16 he racked up in the Division Series, but he was mashing, too. He engineered a three-run homer during Game 3 of the Championship Series, followed by another blast and game-tying double in Game 4. His one-out double helped pad a five-run lead in Game 5, while his 425-footer off of Brad Peacock barely made a dent during a 7-1 loss in Game 6. And then Lance McCullers‘ curveball found and fooled him, as it did five of the 14 batters it met in Game 7:
The strikeout was Judge’s first of the evening and 27th since the start of the playoffs. No other major league batter has racked up that many strikeouts in a single postseason, though Alfonso Soriano’s 26-strikeout record in 2003 comes the closest. Within that record, Judge also collected three golden sombreros (four strikeouts in a single game), narrowly avoiding the dreaded platinum sombrero (five strikeouts in a single game).
It’s an unfortunate footnote to a spectacular year for the rookie outfielder, who decimated the competition with 52 home runs and 8.2 fWAR during the regular season and was a pivotal part of the Yankees’ playoff run. Thankfully, the image of McCullers’ curveball darting just under Judge’s bat won’t be the image that sticks with us for years to come. Instead, it’ll look something like this: