LOS ANGELES – Byron Buxton took batting practice Wednesday, and that was progress. Miguel Sano took batting practice Wednesday, too, and that was a setback.
Yet neither player was in the Twins’ lineup for a second consecutive game Wednesday.
Buxton said he felt much better after two miserable days of battling migraine headaches, which cause his vision to blur and sometimes makes him see double.
“It definitely isn’t fun,” Buxton said. “I’ve had them since I was growing up but not usually this bad.”
He still suffers the headaches about once a month or so, Buxton said, but they don’t last long and usually don’t hamper his play.
The migraine isn’t completely gone, so the Twins didn't activate him from the 10-day disabled list, and after the game decided to to send Buxton on a rehab assignment to Toledo with Class AAA Rochester for the weekend.
“By the time we get to Friday, we’re pushing two weeks as far as not getting any playing time,” manager Paul Molitor said earlier Wednesday, before the decision was made.
Meanwhile, Molitor was in the batting cage Wednesday afternoon when Sano stepped in and took a few swings.
“You could tell it wasn’t comfortable for him yet,” Molitor said of his third baseman, who was hit on the hand by a Josh Fields pitch Monday. “We feel it’s more of some type of bone bruise than ligament or bone damage. But the vibration of the swing is making it tough for him right now.”
Sano said his pinch-hit appearance Tuesday night, when he struck out on three pitches in the eighth inning, was painful. He feared something worse than a bruise, and was relieved that X-rays were negative. He believes a day off Thursday will be enough time for him to heal.
Molitor said he wants to put Tuesday’s lineup snafu, in which umpire Lance Barnett wrote down different substitutions than the Twins intended to make, behind him.
“It’s been a hot discussion around here as we try to sort through some things that transpired. I’d like to turn the page on it,” he said. “I’d like to think I learned from it, and the umpires as well.”
He said he told the team to blame him for the mix-up, which caused an 18-minute delay and forced Eddie Rosario out of the game with three innings to play. “It was somewhat important for me to let them know my responsibility and accountability so we can move on,” he said.
And if he decides to tell an umpire he’s making another double switch? “I’ll probably go real slow,” he said.
Progress for Perkins
Glen Perkins allowed a hit and a walk in one inning of a Gulf Coast League game Wednesday, and also stuck out a batter. It was Perkins’ second successful outing in a week as he tries to return from shoulder surgery more than a year ago.
Molitor said he was encouraged by Perkins’ progress, but said after such a long layoff, the All-Star closer will need plenty more work before he can return to the Twins. “He’s got to go through the process of accumulating some time against hitters, and at improved levels along the way, before we would consider him ready to come back and help us,” the manager said.
Santiago outing ‘spotty’
Hector Santiago was in uniform with the Twins on Wednesday, one day after making a shaky rehab start for Class AAA Rochester in Indianapolis. Santiago threw 36 pitches in his one-inning stint, and “it was a little spotty. A lack of command,” Molitor said. “It seemed like he misfired quite a bit with his fastball and breaking stuff. Not really surprising given that he hasn’t pitched a lot in the last month.”
Santiago had committed to a charity fundraiser in Southern California for Bass Pro Shops, “and I didn’t have any issue with him coming out here after his start yesterday, taking care of that responsibility and then heading back,” Molitor said. Santiago’s next start is Saturday in Toledo.