Rob Refsnyder said he was disappointed to miss a week with a concussion, but his overriding emotion after running full-speed into the center field wall at Camden Yards last week was embarrassment.
"Man, that's a super-embarrassing play," Refsnyder said upon his activation Tuesday. "When my son grows up, if he's super-embarrassed about something, I can be like, 'Hey, look, I've got something better than that.' "
On Wednesday, he had something better — an RBI double in his first game back, the Twins' 8-4 loss to New York.
But after Refsnyder cracked a Jordan Montgomery pitch off the top of the bullpen wall in the sixth inning, driving in Trevor Larnach with a game-tying run, Refsnyder's aggressive running and head-first slide into second base came with a cost: He suffered a strained left hamstring. Refsnyder hugged the base for several seconds before getting up and leaving the game.
"Of course he's disappointed. He's kind of upset about his body doing this to him," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. "But there's nothing he can do. He's going hard on the play, and it happens. So we'll sort that out."
About 10 miles away, another center fielder was recovering from a leg injury of his own. But Baldelli said his instinct is not to speed up Byron Buxton's rehab assignment at Class AAA St. Paul just due to Refsnyder's injury.
"My gut is, we're going to let Buck complete his rehab assignment," Baldelli said of Buxton, who went 2-for-3 with a triple and a walk for the Saints in his first game action in four weeks. "I'm almost certain that he's going to go play in St. Paul again, and we'll see where we are at that point."
And where is Refsnyder? He could be back on the injured list after just one game back. That would be a blow for a player finally getting an extended chance to play after nearly a decade as a pro.
"I was pretty terrible in '16 and '17. I just wasn't a good player. I was learning how to be a bench player for the first time and I just wasn't very good," said Refsnyder, a fifth-round pick by the Yankees in 2012. "I probably put too much pressure on myself. It's a shame because I feel like I've learned a lot. Looking back, I would have done a lot of things differently."