Byron Buxton fouled a ball off of his lower left leg in the eighth inning last night and it was easy to see that he was in discomfort. Twins manager Rocco Baldelli and assistant trainer Matt Biancuzzo went to the plate to check on their fleet-footed centerfielder.
Buxton finished his at bat with a strikeout. Baldelli and Biancuzzo came back onto the field to make sure Buxton could remain in the game.
"I can't speak for him but I can tell you that I thought he was probably a little bit in pain and a little frustrated also, which I don't blame him for," Baldelli said. "It's not pleasant. And sometimes they hit you in a way where you can't feel your leg and you can't move around very well.
"We just want make sure we give him enough time to let him to actually make a decision as opposed to forcing a decision by rushing him through it after he fouls a ball off his leg. He was adamant that he wanted to stay in the game and that he could run and play."
Buxton finished out the game. But he's not in the lineup today as the Twins and Orioles play the second of their three-game series at Target Field. No Twins fan wants to see Buxton deal with another foul ball, because it was a foul ball off his foot - a year ago this month - that started his lost season. On Friday, he fouled a pitch that struck him above his shinguard but between the bone and muscle.
"I thought it might have hit him on the bone, which would have been very bad," Baldelli said.
The plan is to give Buxton some time to see he can help off the bench today or start tomorrow. Max Kepler started in center field on Saturday with Willians Astudillo starting in right field.
"With the quick turnaround it just made sense to get him off his feet and not have him running around on that immediately after doing it to himself," Baldelli said. "I would say if we need to use him today he is going to be available. If we want to get him in there tomorrow, which we very well might, he could be in there tomorrow. But we'll see."
Jason Castro is behind the plate as righthander Jose Berrios looks to improve to 4-1 on the season, joining a handful of AL pitchers who have won four games.
Third baseman Miguel Sano is set to play for Class A Fort Myers on Tuesday, the official start of his minor league rehabilitation assignment and final phase before he's activated from the injured list.
Alex Kirilloff (wrist) and Nick Gordon (stomach) have been playing in extended spring training games, which means it won't be too long before they join their minor league teams.
Jonathan Villar, SS
Trey Mancini, RF
Dwight Smith, Jr., LF
Renato Nunez, DH
Rio Ruiz, 3B
Joey Rickard, CF
Chris Davis, 1B
Stevie Wilkerson, 2B
Pedro Severino, C
Dan Straily, RHP
Max Kepler, RF
Jorge Polanco, SS
Nelson Cruz, DH
Eddie Rosario, LF
C.J. Cron, 1B
Marwin Gonzalez, 3B
Willians Astudillo, RF
Jonathan Schoop, 2B
Jason Castro, C
Jose Berrios, RHP