Byung Ho Park’s first season in the U.S. is ending early.
Park will undergo surgery in Minneapolis on Thursday morning to repair a tendon on the back of his right hand, an injury that has been bothering him occasionally for the past few months. The tendon might be torn, Park said he was told by surgeon Dr. Tom Varecka, but he won’t know until the surgery.
“It’s been bothering me, not seriously, but the pain’s been there from time to time,” Park said through interpreter J.D. Kim. “After I got sent down to Rochester, the pain got a little worse and I thought it was time to get it checked out.”
Park, who signed a four-year, $12 million contract last December, will rehab here until the season ends next month, Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
It’s been a rough first season for the South Korean slugger, who opened the season as the Twins’ everyday designated hitter and slugged six homers in April. His results declined, however, as the season went on, and by the time he was optioned to Class AAA Rochester at the end of June, he had added only six more homers, his batting average stood at .191 and his OPS was just .684. He also struck out 80 times in 215 at-bats.
Check back to startribune.com for further updates on Park’s condition, and his thoughts on his first MLB season.
In other injury news, the Twins have decided to give Hector Santiago a few extra days as he nurses a bruised thumb on his left hand. Santiago’s ERA in four starts with the Twins is 11.37, so the hope is that the extra time off allows him to regroup before returning next week. In his place, lefthander Pat Dean will start Friday’s game in Toronto.
Eduardo Escobar is back in the lineup, but at third base, and Max Kepler, battling a 7-for-41 slump over his last 10 games, has been dropped to seventh in the order for the first time since July 1.
Here are the lineups for tonight’s second game with Detroit:
V. Martinez DH
J.D. Martinez RF