The Minnesota Twins placed rookie outfielder Alex Kirilloff on the 10-day injured list on Wednesday with a right wrist sprain after sending him to a local specialist earlier in the day. In a corresponding move, they also reinstated infielder Miguel Sanó from the IL.
The club plans to wait until Kirilloff sees a second specialist before making any determinations on how to proceed with Kirilloff and his bothersome wrist. Manager Rocco Baldelli said Kirilloff will travel with the team on its road trip to Detroit, and from there, he will drive to Dayton, Ohio, where he will meet with Dr. Thomas Graham, the same doctor Nelson Cruz saw in 2019 for his wrist injury.
“I think before we say anything or really know anything for certain, we’d like to let the experts, let the doctors really get their heads together and make a determination before we know exactly what we’re dealing with, but even more importantly, what comes next for AK,” Baldelli said.
Kirilloff had two stints on the injured list in 2019, spraining the wrist and then reaggravating it later in the season. Baldelli said he was unsure if the new injury was related to that, though he believes Kirilloff’s injury might have stemmed from a slide into second base during Monday’s game, after which Kirilloff started to feel discomfort.
“As far as if it’s connected maybe to anything that’s happened in the past, … it’s difficult to know for sure,” Baldelli said. “It’s also why we’re taking the time before making any determinations to have him also see another hand/wrist specialist.”
Baldelli said from his conversations with team trainer Michael Salazar he thinks Kirilloff’s wrist pain has moderately improved from where it was earlier in the week but was “certainly not resolved.”
But the manager took it as a positive sign that Kirilloff arrived at the park on Wednesday and was asking when he might be able to swing a bat. Before suffering the injury, Kirilloff had hit .321 with four home runs and 11 RBIs in is past seven games.
“Normally when a guy’s in pain, that’s not one of the first questions you’re going to hear from someone on the way in, so that’s a good sign I would say,” Baldelli said.
While the Twins will be without Kirilloff for the foreseeable future, they did welcome back Sanó, who had been slowed by a hamstring injury.
Sanó, who was 5 for 45 before landing on the injured list, has been seeing live pitching in simulated games, and he’s been working off the velocity machine, which he said is helpful to him as he tries to get on top of the ball. Sanó has been talking with his longtime coach, Fernando Tatis Sr., about his hand positioning, he said, and he has been trying to work on that.
While Sanó has shown off his patient eye at the plate this season, taking 13 walks in his 15 games, he has also struck out 20 times.
“I’ve been working hard (on) my swing, trying to get on top of the ball,” he said. “… I’ve been taking a lot of good pitches. I try to make more contact. I’ve been working the last few weeks so I feel really more better now, so we go out there and put it in the game.”
Miller dies at 76
Former Twins manager Ray Miller, who led the team for parts of the 1985-86 seasons, died this week. He was 76.
Miller was hired by the Twins to replace Billy Gardner during the 1985 season. He managed the team for the rest of the 1985 season and most of the 1986 season before his late-season firing. He was replaced by Tom Kelly, who led the club to a World Series title the next year. Miller went 109-130 during his time managing the Twins. After his firing, he had another short managerial stint, this one with the Baltimore Orioles from 1998-1999.
“The Minnesota Twins are deeply saddened by the loss of Ray Miller. We send our condolences to the entire Miller family, as well as the other major league organizations that were impacted by his long career as a respected coach and mentor,” the club said in a release.
Miller is best known for his role as a longtime pitching coach. He held that title with his hometown Orioles from 1978 until he was hired to manage the Twins. He would go on to serve as the Pirates pitching coach and then return to that role with the Orioles twice.
As a player, Miller pitched professionally for 10 seasons in three different organizations, though he never reached the major leagues. He spent 40 years in professional baseball and a player and coach.
A Takoma Park, Md., native, Miller was elected to the Orioles Hall of Fame in 2010.
Michael Pineda will be the Twins’ starting pitcher Thursday after being pushed back a day. Pineda was struck by a comebacker during his last start. Matt Shoemaker, José Berríos and Kenta Maeda will start against Detroit. … The Twins optioned Brandon Waddell to make room on the roster for Lewis Thorpe, who started Wednesday. Waddell had given up six runs — five earned — in the Twins’ past two games.