KANSAS CITY, MO. – Byron Buxton is eligible to come off the 10-day injured list Tuesday, when the Twins play host to Tampa Bay. By all accounts, the center fielder has checked off every box during his recovery from a right wrist injury, but the Twins aren’t quite ready to announce that he is ready to be activated.
“I would say that we have to feel like he is 100 percent before we activate him for a game,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I can’t tell you that he’s 100 percent right now, but he’s really getting close to that, so we’re literally getting down to a discussion of days, where it’s either one day or the next or the next, so we’re getting to a point where I think we’re close and we’re very close to making a decision.
“I just can’t tell you what day he’s going to be activated as of right now.”
Buxton hit indoors and ran on the field before Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the Royals. And he offered his honest assessment.
“Umm … it felt pretty good,” Buxton said. “Obviously it’s not 100 percent, but it’s getting close. It’s just one of those things.”
So Buxton will try to be as honest as he can with the medical staff about how he feels while rejecting the urge to just say what they need to hear to get back. The consequences of aggravating the injury are too steep, but he does have one more day to let it heal.
“What we are going to do is check in with him on the off day,” Baldelli said, “and we’ll probably go out and take some more swings when we get back home on Tuesday and probably have a better update at that point.”
Berrios on schedule
Jose Berrios is expected to stick on his normal between-starts routine despite leaving Saturday’s game in the eighth inning because of a blister on his right ring finger.
He should throw his normal bullpen session Tuesday at Target Field, which will give the Twins an idea of where Berrios, 8-3 with a 2.84 ERA, is heading into his next scheduled start, Friday against the White Sox.
Blisters can present all sorts of problems for a pitcher. But Baldelli believes the location of the blister is in a spot that’s not vital for a pitcher.
“I believe this is something he’s going to figure out how to throw with,” Baldelli said. “It’s not on a finger that is going to stop throwing any of his particular pitches. It doesn’t look like one of those blisters by the fingernail that is going to open up every time he plays catch.
“I don’t think it is something that we are going to have to worry about in a major way. But it’s something we’re going to have to pay attention to.”
Berrios was in control Saturday before the blister forced him to pull the skin off early in the eighth inning. That led to more problems, as two runners reached before he was pulled for Taylor Rogers. Then the Royals pushed home three runs tie the score. Berrios might have been allowed to finish the Twins’ first complete game of the season if not for the blister.
Now the wait will be on to see how he gets through his bullpen session Tuesday. But, in his mind, he’s not missing a start.
“No. Not really,” he said. “I’m good.”
Second baseman Jonathan Schoop said he was available to come off the bench if needed Sunday. He missed Saturday’s game because of a sore right foot suffered when he stepped on second base Friday. His foot swelled up overnight, forcing him out of the lineup. But he treated the injury during the game and felt better by the end of the day.
Luis Arraez started in place of Schoop and went 4-for-4 Sunday with a double, the first four-hit game of his career. Arraez is batting .436 in 15 games with the Twins.