NEW YORK – The Twins are bracing for the worst with Eddie Rosario.
The outfielder will have his left thumb examined Monday in the Twin Cities, but the club is worried that Rosario suffered a small fracture when he dived for first base in the 10th inning Saturday night against the Mets. A fracture would end his season with two weeks remaining.
Preliminary X-rays were inconclusive, and the Twins plan to have more tests done Monday.
Rosario said after Saturday's game that he didn't believe his thumb was broken because he could move it a little without too much pain. But the Twins know that doesn't mean there isn't a break.
"I would not put too much stock into [Rosario's statement]," manager Paul Molitor said.
If it is the end of Rosario's season, he finishes with a .269 average, 10 home runs, 32 RBI, five steals and a team-high 10 outfield assists. He helped his stock when he batted .305 after his recall July 3. He opened the season as the left fielder but was batting .200 on May18 when he was sent down to Class AAA Rochester.
He has played well enough that the club believes it can move forward with an outfield of Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler.
Rosario would join Danny Santana, Trevor Plouffe and Trevor May as players who have been knocked out of action over the past three weeks. And Miguel Sano is being treated for a sore back.
Relievers step up
After taking some lumps early, righthanders Alex Wimmers and J.T. Chargois have settled in to give the Twins some quality outings. There are a few reasons for their success, one being the help of bullpen coach Eddie Guardado.
"I think Eddie's voice is something that provides a lot of value," Molitor said. "Different people respond differently. Eddie is very direct. He definitely believes that there's a certain way to go about your business in terms of preparation and the work you do prior to the game."
Wimmers has a 2.57 ERA over his past seven outings, spanning seven innings. That includes two scoreless innings in Thursday's victory at Detroit in which he pitched through the heart of the Tigers order.
Chargois has thrown seven scoreless innings, giving up one hit and two walks, over the past 24 batters he's faced.
"Just overall confidence, really," Chargois said. "Just being able to clear my mind and eliminate the aura of the major leagues. Trying to settle in."
And Guardado has helped with the transition.
"It's definitely taken a few Eddie preachings," Chargois said. "I think we are getting there. The game is becoming a little simpler. Understanding that getting ahead is a priority."
Dozier for Team USA?
Brian Dozier's big season very well could land him in the red, white and blue when the World Baseball Classic returns in 2017.
Indications are that Team USA is looking at Dozier, who has been on a power binge over the past three months to contend for the major league home run crown. Jason Kipnis, Dustin Pedroia and Ian Kinsler also are having seasons worthy of inclusion. Team USA likely would take two from that group.
"I would love to represent the U.S. at the World Baseball Classic," said Dozier, 29. "I'm hoping I would get the opportunity."
• Kennys Vargas went 8-for-20 on the seven-game road trip, capping it with a solo home run in the eighth inning that was estimated at 420 feet.