LOS ANGELES – Byron Buxton sat in his locker, his head in the dark behind the rack of jerseys and jackets, his feet sticking out the front, on Monday. It was the best way he could find to dull the pain throbbing in his head.
When the migraines didn’t subside, Buxton was sent back to the hotel before the game, and Twins manager Paul Molitor changed his mind about his plans for the center fielder.
The migraines “limited his ability to be on the field and work out, to do baseball skills,” Molitor said, so he decided not to activate Buxton from the disabled list Tuesday, his first day eligible to return from a strained groin muscle. “Being on the DL, there’s just not an urgency to force that today,” Molitor said. “We’ll see how he feels tomorrow.” Buxton did not take part in batting practice on Tuesday and was sent to the hotel again before first pitch, so he’s unlikely to be activated before Friday.
Zach Granite, who was 8-for-17 (.471) in his past five games after debuting with a 2-for-22 (.091) stretch, batted second and played center in his place. Granite is expected to be returned to Class AAA Rochester once Buxton is activated, though Molitor has mused aloud about finding a way to keep him on the roster.
As for Buxton, while he’s experienced migraines before, “I don’t think they’re frequent,” Molitor said. “His history is they usually come and go [quickly], they don’t linger, so that’s a good sign. But I just thought it didn’t make a lot of sense to force it.”
Jaime Garcia had been taking congratulations for a week over his new job with the Twins. But not until Monday, when the trade to Minnesota was finalized with the Braves, could he say he shared that excitement.
“When there was some stuff that came out, friends and family thought the trade was done, [so] people texted me to congratulate me,” Garcia said, just a couple of hours after joining his new team. “I was like, ‘Listen, guys, I’m pitching tomorrow against the Dodgers. I haven’t heard anything.’ It was a lot, but I’ve been around long enough that it wasn’t really a distraction.”
Garcia said he is “thrilled” to join the Twins, given that the Braves had fallen out of postseason contention. And he was flattered that the Twins consider him an important part of stabilizing their rotation.
“It means a lot. They believe in me — it gets me fired up, it gets me excited,” said the veteran lefthander, acquired along with catcher Anthony Recker for 19-year-old righthander Huascar Ynoa.
“The fact that they went out and traded one of their prospects to get me, it just motivates me even more.”
Garcia’s regular day to pitch would be Wednesday, but he’ll be pushed back to Friday in Oakland.
• Miguel Sano, hit on the left hand by a Josh Fields pitch on Monday, felt soreness in his left wrist during batting practice on Tuesday, and the cleanup hitter was scratched from the lineup about a half-hour before game time. Sano was taken for X-rays, but no damage was found in the hand or wrist.
• Recker has been assigned to Class AAA Rochester, at least for now, though another move appears likely. Along with John Ryan Murphy and Mitch Garver, the addition of Recker gives the Red Wings three catchers, all on the Twins’ 40-man roster.
• The Twins will miss both All-Stars among the Dodgers’ starting rotation. Clayton Kershaw is on the disabled list (back problems), and on Wednesday, Los Angeles announced that Alex Wood’s start Wednesday will be moved back to Friday. Righthander Brock Stewart will make his first start of the season in Wood’s place.
• Hector Santiago, who has been on the disabled list since July 6, began his rehab assignment Tuesday. Santiago started for Class AAA Rochester, allowing three hits, four runs (three earned) while walking two in one inning of the Red Wings’ 5-2 loss to Indianapolis.