Byron Buxton’s rough start in the majors just got much rougher, as the Twins placed the stud center field prospect on the disabled list with a sprained left thumb suffered during a stolen base attempt Tuesday.
Buxton played through the injury Wednesday, going 0-for-4 with four strikeouts as the Twins’ leadoff man against White Sox ace Chris Sale.
To replace him on the roster the Twins called up Danny Santana, who was recently demoted to Triple-A after hitting .218 with a .525 OPS and 49/2 K/BB ratio to lose the Opening Day shortstop job.
Minnesota just released Opening Day center fielder Jordan Schafer and Aaron Hicks is on the disabled list with an elbow injury for at least a few more days, so the Twins figure to turn to Shane Robinson or shift Santana to center field where he played last season.
Buxton hit .189 with a .501 OPS and 15 strikeouts in 11 games after being called up from Double-A at age 21. Twins manager Paul Molitor told Dana Wessel of 96.3-FM in Minnesota that Buxton will probably miss “at least a month.”
Matt Holliday told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post Dispatch that his torn right quadriceps muscle is getting “better” and “stronger,” but there’s no timetable yet for the Cardinals left fielder to come off the disabled list.
Holliday has been out since June 8 and recently began hitting and throwing, but the big test will be when he tries to do some running on the injured leg.
Here’s what manager Mike Matheny said about Holliday’s status:
We’re not putting a lot of pressure on him to rush. He’ll be back when he’s ready.
Having baseball’s best record at 48-24 gives the Cardinals plenty of reason to be patient and play things safe with injuries. And fill-in left fielder Randal Grichuk’s good production gives the team even less reason rush Holliday back.
One month ago the Twins shifted top-100 prospect Alex Meyer from the rotation to the bullpen at Triple-A due to ongoing control problems. And now they’re calling him up for his MLB debut as a reliever.
Meyer thrived in the bullpen, posting a 0.53 ERA and 20/6 K/BB ratio in 17 innings while holding opponents to a .188 batting average. And at 6-foot-9 with a high-90s fastball the former first-round draft pick certainly profiles as a potential late-inning bullpen option.
His control remains an issue, but the Twins are hoping that Meyer focusing on working 1-2 innings at a time will allow him to fully unleash his powerful raw stuff. Glen Perkins has the closer role locked down, but Meyer could supplant Casey Fien and Blaine Boyer as Minnesota’s primary setup man three years after the Twins acquired him from the Nationals in exchange for Denard Span.