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Twins: Sore Byron Buxton getting ‘looked at thoroughly’

Buxton leads the team with 26 home runs and is second to Jorge Polanco (49) with 46 RBIs while avoiding the injured list for the first time since 2016.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Chicago White Sox
Minnesota Twins center fielder Byron Buxton celebrates after hitting a two-run home run against the Chicago White Sox during the fifth inning of a July 4 game at Guaranteed Rate Field in Chicago.
Kamil Krzaczynski / USA Today Sports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins added a starter and two relievers at the trade deadline Tuesday, bolstering the team’s ability to stay atop the American League Central. But they’re also down some key players sidelined by injury, most distressingly all-star Byron Buxton.

The center fielder missed a second straight game on Tuesday so he could get “looked at thoroughly,” manager Rocco Baldelli said before a 6:40 p.m. first pitch against the Detroit Tigers at Target Field.

Asked if that would include imaging on his troublesome right knee, Baldelli said, “I don’t know if he’s getting imaging. I think he might be.”

Buxton and team trainers have been managing what the Twins are calling a chronic condition in the knee, to generally excellent effect. Buxton leads the team with 26 home runs and is second to Jorge Polanco (49) with 46 RBIs while avoiding the injured list for the first time since 2016.

Buxton received a platelet-rich plasma treatment during the all-star break and missed two victories at Detroit before playing the next five straight games. But he was out of the lineup for Monday’s 5-3, 10-inning victory over the Tigers and on Tuesday was feeling “added discomfort from where he was a few days ago,” Baldelli said.


“He’s sore, and that’s probably a mild way of putting it,” the manager added.

Sano done

First baseman Miguel Sano, who had surgery to repair the meniscus in his left knee on May 3, won’t be playing again this season. In one of many moves to clear space on the 40-man roster to acquisitions, he was put back on the 60-day injured list Tuesday.

The two Minnesotans — Varland from Maplewood, Wallner from Forest Lake — gave hometown fans plenty to cheer about this season, both in St. Paul and Minneapolis. Both started the year with Double-A Wichita before earning a pair of promotions and debuting in September.
The Twins led the Central division for 108 days during the season. The last came on Sept. 4, when they pulled back into a tie with the Guardians atop the division. They finished the season in third place with a 78-84 record, 14 games behind Cleveland and three behind Chicago.
Twins president of baseball operations Derek Falvey and general manager Thad Levine have some heavy lifting ahead of them. The first task is deciding whether to offer Carlos Correa a long-term contract.
Correa, who played in 136 games in 2022, finished his year hitting .291 with a .834 OPS. His 139 OPS+ (100 is league average) is the second-highest in his career. His 5.4 bWAR (Wins Above Replacement per Baseball Reference) leads the Twins, and he quickly became a leader within the Twins’ clubhouse.
The infielder joined an exclusive club Wednesday, becoming the fifth Twins player to win an American League batting title, joining Rod Carew (seven times), Joe Mauer (three), Tony Oliva (three) and Kirby Puckett.
Duran, 24, entered Tuesday with a 4.6 Win Probability Added, a statistic that credits a player for how much his appearance impacted his team’s chance of winning, per Baseball Reference.
Minnesota hitter goes 1-for-4 and maintains lead on Judge
The White Sox rallied against Twins reliever Griffin Jax, who fell to 7-4 after yielding one run on two hits in the seventh.
Arraez entered Monday’s play with a .315 to .311 edge over New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge, who would win the first Triple Crown since 2012 if he surpassed the Minnesota Twins’ infielder.
With three games remaining for the Twins (and four for the Yankees), Twins infielder Luis Arrraez and New York Yankees slugger Aaron Judge remain locked in a tight race for the American League batting title.

Sano returned from the 60-day IL last Tuesday and played three games – going 0 for 6 with four strikeouts – before getting more imaging on the knee on Monday. He is playing in the third year of a three-year, $30 million contract that includes a $14 million club option for 2023. The buyout is $2.75 million.

Falvey said Sano might need more surgery.

“I obviously want to have some conversations,” he said. “We had some conversations with his agent with him. There are other procedures being considered. And I don’t want to speak on those until we know exactly what that’s going to be.”

Kirilloff to IL

Alex Kirilloff’s sore right wrist has landed him on the injured list again. The outfielder / first baseman has been struggling with pain since he had season-ending surgery to repair a torn ligament in July 2021 and had more imaging done on Tuesday.

“We didn’t find anything dramatic on the imaging that we took,” Baldelli said, “but that doesn’t change the symptoms that he’s feeling. And going forward, he’s going to continue to meet with the wrist specialists. I can’t tell you that we know exactly what the next step is going to be.”

One option is another procedure, the manager said, another is rest. Nothing has worked so far; the 15th overall pick in the 2016 first-year player draft has played in only 45 games this season. This is his second trip to the IL.


“We knew he wasn’t going to be able to swing and take the field and be an offensive player at this point,” Baldelli said. “It was a move that had to be done.”


To take Kirilloff’s place on the 26-man active roster, the Twins selected the contract of outfielder Jake Cave, who has spent the season at Class AAA St. Paul after signing a split contract last offseason. He was in the lineup playing left field on Tuesday. … Outfielder Kyle Garlick has cartilage damage in his rib cage, Baldelli said, and will rest for a few days before the team decides whether to put him on the injured list. He was hurt in a collision with the left field wall while chasing a home run ball last Friday at San Diego. … The Twins are hoping outfielder Max Kepler, on the injured list with a broken pinkie toe, will have “pretty close to a minimal stay on the IL. He’s already showing good signs of improvement, so he’s already moving around good, swinging the bat.” … Infielder Jose Miranda was named the American League rookie of the month for July, when he hit .353 with five home runs and 19 RBIs in 20 games.


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