C.J. Cron made it clear that he did not want to return to the injured list.
“I told [manager Rocco Baldelli] and I told everyone that I want to play and that I’m willing to play through this because I feel like I’ll be able to make adjustments,” Cron said, “but they want me to get this taken care of. It’s probably for the better for me. Obviously, I don’t see it that way, but it’ll be better in the long-term.”
With that, the Twins placed Cron back on the 10-day injured list Monday because of right thumb inflammation. He was initially placed on the IL July 6, the Twins and Cron hoped that being idle around the All-Star break would allow the thumb to heal sufficiently. It did not. Cron had been managing the pain and play.
In 12 games since June 26, Cron is batting .173 with one home run. The Twins, who have been slowed by a rash of injuries, decided on a different approach. Cron was given a cortisone shot in the thumb and will work on getting it healed up.
“Taking that opportunity to inject the thumb, make sure we gave it a little bit of time I think is the wise way to go,” Baldelli said. “Again, we’re in this for the long haul. We’re not trying to just get him out there on the field in a really uncomfortable state.”
Cron is batting .263 with 18 home runs and 55 RBI in 83 games. Miguel Sano played first base Monday, but Baldelli said Marwin Gonzalez and Ehire Adrianza will get time there as well.
Cron, who had the injection Sunday, said his thumb felt better than it did the first time he went on the injured list.
“Any time when you’re not playing, you want to be in there to help your team,” Cron said. “It’s just the competitive nature that all of us in this room have. It’s why we’re here, where we are, today. I have ultimate trust in my teammates. We have a good offense regardless. We set ourselves up to be able to work around injuries like this, so hopefully, we can take a couple of games here against the Yankees in a big series.”
No Buxton, yet
Byron Buxton was expected to be activated Monday, but the Twins decided to wait another day before bringing the center fielder back from a concussion.
Buxton took part in pregame activities Monday and looks ready for action. But Baldelli was to be sure that Buxton is as close to 100% as possible.
“I think a lot of or all of the concussion-related issues have resolved themselves,” Baldelli said, “making sure that he is ready to go and confident and able to do all of the baseball activity is probably something we have to make sure of before we can activate him, but I think he’s getting close.”
Buxton adds sizzle to the Twins lineup at the plate and in the field. They are 52-23 when he plays and 8-15 when he doesn’t.
Pitchers called up
With Cron going on the injured list and righthander Zack Littell sent to Class AAA Rochester, the Twins decided to return to an eight-man bullpen. They called up lefthander Lewis Thorpe and righthander Cody Stashak.
While Thorpe is up for the second time this season, Stashak, 25, will become the 26th Twins pitcher used and the 12th called up from the minors.
Stashak, whose fastball is in the low 90-mile-per-hour range, began the season at Class AA Pensacola, where he was 2-3 with a 4.76 ERA in 19 appearances. He was promoted to Rochester, where he posted a 1.61 ERA in 12 appearances.
“It’s crazy to think I was in Double-A and now I’m here,” said Stashak, a 13th-round pick in 2015 out of St. John’s. “I just have to keep throwing well and hopefully continue to have success.”