Derek Falvey, the Twins president of baseball operations, has a philosophy when it comes to making roster moves: "These things have a way of working themselves out."
That's exactly what happened in the case of first basemen Miguel Sano and Alex Kirilloff, who swapped spots Wednesday, with Kirilloff put on the 10-day injured list and Sano activated off it before the Twins played Texas.
Sano missed 12 games because of a right hamstring strain and said he used his downtime to find his swing and timing; he was hitting. 111.
Kirilloff was on a seven-game hitting streak with three doubles, four homers and 11 RBI in Sano's absence, but the rookie was a late scratch Tuesday because of a right wrist sprain. He saw a specialist in town Wednesday but will travel with the Twins to Detroit this weekend and drive to see another hand specialist in Dayton, Ohio.
Kirilloff isn't quite sure how he injured his wrist, though it appeared it occurred after he slid into second base in Monday's game. He couldn't play Tuesday, but improved moderately Wednesday, manager Rocco Baldelli said.
Sano was only complimentary of the job Kirilloff did. "When I saw that kid out there, and he's swinging at the ball and hitting, I was really happy because I'm the kind of player where I play first base, but I don't care if he plays first," Sano said. "The only thing I want is that we win."
On the mound Tuesday at Target Field, a small strip of white peaked out from beneath the Twins pitcher's cap. After his outing, when he took off his hat in the dugout, the white headband came into full view, complete with the Hinomaru design from the Japanese flag.
But it wasn't Kenta Maeda with the crimson circle on his forehead. It was Hansel Robles.
The headbands, called hachimaki, are popular in Maeda's native Japan and possibly originated with the samurai. They have become an iconic symbol for the country, marking those with one tied around their heads as people of courage and hard work. But at their essence, they are sweat bands.
Maeda's teammates saw the pitcher wearing a black one around the clubhouse and liked the look. At first, Maeda fashioned a makeshift one for Robles, writing "Kenta Love" partly in characters and partly in English with a black Sharpie. But then he decided to just buy a bunch for the group.
Some players wear theirs during batting practice or workouts. But the biggest fans are Dominicans Robles and Sano.
Sano professed his love for "Japón" on Wednesday, saying he has learned a lot about the culture. He rattled off phrases such as konnichiwa (hello), arigato (thank you) and Daichi Sekizaki (Maeda's interpreter).
"It makes me happy to see those guys, first of all, wanting the headband," Maeda said through an interpreter, "and then second, wearing them in game like for Robles."
In Year 2 with the Twins, Maeda has slowly started outfitting his team with Japanese threads, including the apparel he sells back in Japan that's printed with his own cartoon art.
Maeda didn't deny he is on a secret mission to turn the Twins into Japan aficionados. But at least one of Maeda's teammates is an eager participant in that.
"Let's start with Robles first," Maeda laughed.
Michael Pineda should start Thursday's series finale after taking an extra day between starts to recover from a batted ball that hit him in the wrist Friday.
The Twins then travel to Detroit and will start Matt Shoemaker on Friday, Jose Berrios on Saturday and Maeda on Sunday.