You never want to lose anyone to injury, because that's a harsh thing to happen to people whose living depends on being able to play baseball. So when Danny Santana limped into second base last night, it was a blow not just because he's been such a godsend of a performer for the Twins this season, but because you just don't like to see guys get hurt.
The good news is that Santana's preliminary checkup didn't reveal anything awful. But he is having an MRI this morning. He's officially listed as day-to-day, but that will be updated once the team gets results from today's test.
Let's move onto a few other items of note.
Oswaldo Arcia snaps his skid
Coming into last night's contest, Arcia hadn't picked up a hit since June 11. Going two weeks without a hit is a hard feat to accomplish, but last night he broke out of his 0-for-30 with a second inning home run that, for a few brief and glorious minutes, put the Twins ahead. It didn't last, of course.
It was his only hit of the night, but getting off that 0-fer streak in any way possible counts as a win. Sometimes young guys struggle, but Arcia should keep getting his starts. Not just because there's not anyone else better to play, but because he has the potential to be such a good hitter.
Aaron Hicks optioned to Double-A
After going 5-for-25 with four walks and three strikeouts over seven games in his rehab stint, the Twins have activated their Opening Day starting center fielder and optioned him to the same place. It's purely a paperwork move, since Hicks won't have to actually go anywhere.
On 26 May, Hicks announced through his agent that he would no longer be switch-hitting. One month later he's given it up, again without notifying the club, which is fun. But this is its own issue; what's interesting is that the Twins have chosen to have Hicks earn his playing time back at Double-A instead of with the Twins (not much of a surprise) or with Triple-A Rochester (a bit more of a surprise).
It's been difficult to defend how the Twins have gone about the development of Aaron Hicks, who was far from a finished project when he earned the starting job in center field on Opening Day in 2013. He wasn't much better this year, although in the weeks leading up to his injury he'd been doing better. (Hicks is still tied for fifth on the team on on-base percentage, at .338.) A big part of the issue was how the organization planned (or didn't) for a scenario where Hicks couldn't contribute the way the team needed him to...two years in a row.
Now, it seems like the organization has realized they need to slow things down for Hicks, regardless of the needs of the Major League team. For now, Sam Fuld (and Danny Santana, if his injury isn't serious) are figure-it-out-as-you-go-along patches in center field. I wouldn't be surprised if Hicks was eventually moved up to Rochester, but I'm still not sold on the idea that he'll be back to the Majors this year.
- Byron Buxton has been slowly working his way back. Terry Ryan has said that he's how hitting off of a tee and taking dry swings (just swinging, no ball involved), and tracking down some outfield fly balls. It's all a progress, but it sounds like Buxton is coming along fine. There's still no timetable on his return, but that doesn't bother me in the least.
- Both Trevor Plouffe and Eduardo Nunez are set to return to the Twins on Monday, when they're eligible to come off of the disabled list. Nunez will head to Double-A New Britain today for his rehab assignment, and Trevor Plouffe "will join the Twins in Texas this weekend to work out with the team."
- Mike Pelfrey something something.
Do you have any interest in Pete Kozma or Chris Capuano?
Capuano, meanwhile, has a 1.95 ERA in 23 relief appearances through May. He's been roughed up in June, and those six appearances were apparently enough for the Red Sox to ignore his first two months. To be fair, it's been one hell of a rough six outings.