One of the top prospects in baseball is headed back to the minors.
Outfielder Byron Buxton has been optioned to Class AAA Rochester as the Twins made a few roster moves on Monday to bolster a worn-down roster following a weekend sweep in Washington.
Also, outfielder Max Kepler has been sent to Rochester as well. The moves allow the Twins to add righthander Alex Meyer and utility man Danny Santana.
Buxton, who began the season as the No. 2 ranked prospect in baseball, was handed the center field job during spring training in hopes that he would figure things out and show the massive talent he possess. But he batted .156 in 17 games with 24 strikeouts in 45 at-bats, or 53 percent of the time. Eventually, it's all about results, and Buxton was awful at the plate.
In 63 major league games, Buxton is batting .195 with two home runs and eight RBI - and 68 strikeouts.
Kepler, who batted .167 over nine games, didn't receive the consistent playing time manager Paul Molitor wanted him to get when he was called up to replace Danny Santana.
Santana, with help from Eddie Rosario, will handle center field duties while Buxton is at Rochester.
Meyer also is getting another shot.
Meyer, the hard-throwing righthander, is being called up from Class AAA Rochester since the bullpen is depleted following a 16-inning loss to Washington on Sunday, Meyer, who has been starting for the Red Wings, can pitch in short or long relief.
Meyer failed to impress during spring training and was cut midway through camp. The Twins needed a starter at Rochester and moved Meyer into the role. He responded by posting a 1.04 ERA in three outings, including two starts.
Meyer has an upper-90's fastball and good slider. The problem for the 6-foot-9 Meyer is that he could not repeat his mechanics. The numbers suggest that he has figured something out.
UPDATE: The Twins’ interest in veteran outfielder David Murphy has ended, and the Rochester Red Wings have confirmed that Murphy was granted his release. Murphy batted .194, going 7-for-36 with one home run, in 10 games with the Rochester Red Wings.
Twins general manager Terry Ryan was in Rochester during the major league team’s trip to Milwaukee and Washington last week, and personally scouted the 10-year big-league veteran. Murphy, who spent 2015 with the Indians and Angels, was cut in spring training by the Red Sox.
Here in Minnesota, the Twins and Indians play a game amid several tributes to Prince. There will be a moment of silence before the game, both teams will wear purple wristbands, the Twins all have Prince tunes as walk-up music, and a tribute will play on the scoreboard during the seventh-inning stretch. The Twins will continue that seventh-inning tradition all season, as they did for Kirby Puckett in 2006 and Harmon Killebrew in 2001.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s game:
C. Santana DH
D. Santana CF