TORONTO – Danny Santana used his right hand to pull his shirt over his left shoulder as he dressed after the Twins’ 9-6 loss to the Blue Jays. It didn’t go well.
“It hurts a lot,” he said, grimacing in pain as he slowly tugged on the sleeve. “It’s even worse when I move it.”
Santana will try to avoid doing so for a while. He was diagnosed with a sprained AC joint at the top of his left shoulder, an injury that will keep him sidelined for at least the next couple of weeks. The Twins placed Santana on the disabled list after Sunday’s loss, and will send him back to the Twin Cities on Monday for further examination.
He was hurt one pitch into only his second game playing center field since July 17. Jose Bautista launched that pitch 380 feet to the base of the wall in left-center, and Santana kept his eye on it as he raced over. As the ball landed, Santana reached with his left hand and felt the ball land in his glove — at almost the same instant as left fielder Robbie Grossman arrived, too. The outfielders collided at full speed, the ball popped out of Santana’s glove, and Bautista jogged into second with a double.
“I knew he was coming, but I watched the ball and got it,” Santana said. “But we [collided]. I couldn’t brace [for it].”
Both outfielders appeared dazed by the play, but they returned to their position.
“We talked the other day about our communication when the ball’s in the air out there, and priority positions and people needing to take charge,” manager Paul Molitor said. “I know it’s a loud park, but you’d like to think that ball would be caught.”
Santana then raced in for another ball, and roamed into right-center to catch a sacrifice fly, all with his shoulder throbbing. “I thought about calling for time, getting the trainers out there,” he said, “but I decided to wait.”
At the end of the inning, he revealed how much pain he was in and was removed. It’s his second DL stint of the season; a sore hamstring sidelined him for two weeks in April.
Schafer to Twins
The Twins signed 29-year-old Logan Schafer to a minor league deal June 2 because Byron Buxton had been recalled three days earlier and Class AAA Rochester need outfielders.
Now Buxton is back in Rochester, and it’s Schafer headed to the major leagues once more.
Schafer was added to the 40-man roster and summoned to Cleveland. He’s an experienced outfielder known for good defense, especially at the corner positions, and he has played 292 major league games with Milwaukee.
He hit only .212 in five partial seasons with the Brewers, with a .286 on-base percentage and a .319 slugging average. That’s why the Brewers let him go last winter, and why the Nationals released him in spring training.
Schafer, no relation to former Twins outfielder Jordan Schafer, will become the 48th player to take the field for the Twins, tying the franchise record set in 2014.
• The collision with Santana wasn’t the only problematic play for Grossman on Sunday. He was charged with an error in the fourth inning when Kevin Pillar’s single bounced under his glove. “The turf’s a little more bouncy in the sunlight during the day games. It was a ball he should have laid back on [to] get a better hop,” Molitor said. “He got caught in between.”
• Kyle Gibson said he was encouraged by his sinker Sunday, even though he lasted only 5⅓ innings against the Blue Jays, giving up four runs. “It was kind of getting back to the basics. Too many times I’ve gotten away from my best pitch, and that’s the sinker,” said Gibson, whose ERA rose to 5.17. “My plan today was to come out, throw a lot of them, and get ahead with it, try to keep them uncomfortable. For the most part, I think it worked.”