Twins catcher Jason Castro said he was feeling good Saturday, and the team is hopeful he will be able to come off the disabled list in the coming days.
Castro suffered a concussion Aug. 23 after taking two foul balls off his mask and has been on the seven-day DL ever since.
“He had a good day yesterday,” manager Paul Molitor said before his team’s game with Kansas City at Target Field. “The intentions are to have him go out and participate in the full pregame workout today. Tomorrow, there’ll be no BP on the field, but he’ll probably have to repeat some of those things, if nothing else, in the cage. …
“He’ll have to do some clearance on Monday as far as getting him eligible back to being on the roster. So we’re on good course for that, and hopefully, the next couple of days continue that, and we can think about getting him back there sometime early in the road trip.”
Molitor said he is not leaning toward a rehab assignment for Castro, but the longer the player is out, the more the manager is tempted. He said it depends on the timing and how Castro feels, and if either the team or Castro needs the peace of mind.
Sano in holding pattern
Molitor didn’t have many updates on All-Star third baseman Miguel Sano, who has been on the DL since Aug. 21 because of a left shin stress reaction.
“I keep asking when we might think about seeing him try to swing or some of those things, and we’re not there yet,” Molitor said. “The days he’s been out is increasing, and the days we have left are decreasing, so we’re kind of up against the clock here. But it’s just one of those things that, from a medical standpoint, we just can’t force it until it’s ready.”
Molitor did say the Twins training staff has reached out to people who have gone through this rather atypical baseball injury, whether in the sport or not, and has tried to implement anything gleaned from that into speeding up Sano’s recovery.
Rehab for Grossman
Outfielder Robbie Grossman is heading to Class AAA Rochester on a rehab assignment after fracturing his left (throwing) thumb Aug. 17.
Molitor said he watched the switch hitter hit lefthanded earlier Saturday. It might be the only side Grossman hits from when he first returns.
“We’re going to get him some live pitching, in-game situations down there in Rochester for a couple days, continuing while he’s there to try to progress that right side,” Molitor said. “I don’t think there’s any way to predict of when we feel that he’s going to be able to step into the box righthanded, but we know that having him available for lefthanded would be a nice addition for us. So we’re going to get that on track, and hopefully, the righthand side comes along, too.”
Grossman said he is feeling better and that his goal for this stint is to keep his lefthanded swing ready. “I want to be out there and be with my guys on the field,” he said. “And I’m doing everything I can to get back.”
Santana near milestone
Ervin Santana starts Sunday’s series finale against the Royals and will chip away at a milestone he hasn’t reached since 2013.
The righthander sits at 176 innings pitched this season, 24 shy of the 200-inning mark he has achieved five times in his 13-year MLB career. And with possibly a half-dozen starts left for him this season, that goal doesn’t seem unattainable at all.
“I think it’s every pitcher’s goal to go 200 innings, but the main thing for me is consistency, staying healthy for the whole year,” Santana said. “So that means a lot to me.”
But he also said he’s “not at all” concerned with the landmark. “Just trying to get one game at a time, one pitch at a time, one inning at time,” he said.
The last Twins pitchers to throw 200 innings were Carl Pavano (222) in 2011 and Phil Hughes (209 ⅔) in 2014.