Twins’ Kirilloff to have season-ending wrist surgery

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS – Minnesota Twins outfielder Alex Kirilloff will undergo season-ending surgery on his right wrist, the team announced Sunday.

Kirilloff, a 2016 first-round draft pick, will travel with Minnesota on its road trip to Los Angeles and undergo ulnar shortening surgery on Tuesday.

“Any time you’re talking about shaving a bone down or shortening a bone, I mean that’s a substantial procedure,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “But we’re hopeful that by getting it down now gives us a chance to use the offseason to get right, to start swinging the bat again, to feel good, and to start getting ready for next year.”

It’s the second time in Kirilloff’s short career in the majors that he’s had a season end early because of a wrist injury. A procedure last July on the same wrist ended his rookie season. He landed on the injured list twice this season, in April and June, because of issues with his wrist.

“As time went on, it just started to bother him more and more, to the point where we as a group were watching him hit in his final week of action, and didn’t look like he could put the good swing on the ball that he can do,” Baldelli said of Kirilloff, who was not made available to reporters on Sunday.

Kirilloff, 24, has played 104 games in two years and batted .251 with 11 home runs and 55 RBIs.

MLB crowds jump from ’21, still below pre-pandemic levels

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PHOENIX — Even with the homer heroics of sluggers like Aaron Judge and Albert Pujols, Major League Baseball wasn’t able to coax fans to ballparks at pre-pandemic levels this season, though attendance did jump substantially from the COVID-19 affected campaign in 2021.

The 30 MLB teams drew nearly 64.6 million fans for the regular season that ended Wednesday, which is up from the 45.3 million who attended games in 2021, according to baseball-reference.com. This year’s numbers are still down from the 68.5 million who attended games in 2019, which was the last season that wasn’t affected by the pandemic.

The 111-win Los Angeles Dodgers led baseball with 3.86 million fans flocking to Dodger Stadium for an average of 47,672 per contest. The Oakland Athletics – who lost 102 games, play in an aging stadium and are the constant subject of relocation rumors – finished last, drawing just 787,902 fans for an average of less than 10,000 per game.

The St. Louis Cardinals finished second, drawing 3.32 million fans. They were followed by the Yankees (3.14 million), defending World Series champion Braves (3.13 million) and Padres (2.99 million).

The Toronto Blue Jays saw the biggest jump in attendance, rising from 805,901 fans to about 2.65 million. They were followed by the Cardinals, Yankees, Mariners, Dodgers, and Mets, which all drew more than a million fans more than in 2021.

The Rangers and Reds were the only teams to draw fewer fans than in 2021.

Only the Rangers started the 2021 season at full capacity and all 30 teams weren’t at 100% until July. No fans were allowed to attend regular season games in 2020.

MLB attendance had been declining slowly for years – even before the pandemic – after hitting its high mark of 79.4 million in 2007. This year’s 64.6 million fans is the fewest in a non-COVID-19 season since the sport expanded to 30 teams in 1998.

The lost attendance has been balanced in some ways by higher viewership on the sport’s MLB.TV streaming service. Viewers watched 11.5 billion minutes of content in 2022, which was a record high and up nearly 10% from 2021.