Byron Buxton was on the field before Friday’s game, trying to figure out what he can do with a bruised left wrist.
Twins manager Paul Molitor was waiting to see if Buxton was able to swing a bat without too much discomfort. Molitor already believed Buxton could help him off the bench, and he did as a pinch runner for Brian Dozier in the bottom of the ninth inning.
“I think he’s progressing,” Molitor said.
Buxton injured his wrist while swinging the bat Wednesday and had to leave the game early. He then said Thursday that there was concern about his hamate bone, which worried the Twins because a broken hamate bone would end his season.
Fortunately for the Twins, exams revealed only a bruised wrist. Buxton, batting .349 with nine home runs, 24 RBI and 10 stolen bases over his past 35 games, should return to the lineup sooner than later.
Catcher Jason Castro, who suffered a concussion last week when he took a foul ball off his facemask, was able to hit in the batting cage and catch Jose Berrios’ bullpen session.
He is still dealing with some concussion symptoms but is making good progress. The Twins decided against calling up another catcher when rosters expanded Friday, partly because Castro is expected to return in the near future.
Castro added he might switch to a different mask if he feels it can offer him more protection.
Long time for Goodrum
It has been slow — and not always steady — progress for Niko Goodrum.
Goodrum was drafted in the second round in 2010 as a shortstop. The Twins hoped the slender Goodrum would fill out like his father, Tim Goodrum, who played football, and develop some power.
It took three seasons for Goodrum, 25, to get out of the rookie leagues. He didn’t reach Class AA until 2015. He reached Class AAA Rochester for the first time this season.
Along the way, he picked up a few positions. This year, he’s played every fielding position except catcher while batting .265 with 13 homers and 66 RBI.
“I’m so used to moving positions, I’m comfortable anywhere,” Goodrum said.
And, on Wednesday night, he was told by Red Wings manager Mike Quade that he was headed to the majors. The first people he called were his parents.
“They were screaming,” Goodrum said. “All the years, going through high school and then pro ball. That’s my support system.”
Goodrum will fill a utility role off the bench, giving Molitor a very versatile option.
Santiago not done
The Twins moved Hector Santiago to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Goodrum — but it doesn’t mean his season is over. Santiago is scheduled to start for Rochester Sunday as he recovers from upper thoracic back pain. The Twins would like to see Santiago progress from his last start on Monday, when his fastball was measured in the mid-80s in miles per hour.
If Santiago can improve, the Twins are willing to call him back up. They would have to find a spot on the 40-man roster for him.
“Whether it’s 88 or 86 or 90, he still has to throw it over,” Molitor said. “ I think we are looking for a combination of velocity as well as command.”
• Molitor said Miguel Sano’s sore shin was a little better on Friday, but he is nowhere close to returning. Medical staff members are looking for past cases to help determine their course of action.
• Lefthanders Buddy Boshers and Nik Turley also were called up from Rochester. Boshers will be a situational lefty, while Turley will pitch in long relief.