Grossman leads offense despite thumb injury

September 9th, 2017

KANSAS CITY -- Robbie Grossman has a fractured left thumb, but it hasn't stopped him from being a huge contributor for the Twins since coming off the 10-day disabled list on Tuesday.

Grossman, limited to designated hitter duty because he still can't throw a baseball since sustaining the injury on Aug. 16, is hitting .429 (6-for-14) with two homers, two doubles and a triple in five games after going 0-for-1 with a pair of walks in Saturday's 5-2 loss the Royals. The switch-hitter is still more comfortable batting left-handed because of his thumb, as he's gone 1-for-4 with no extra-base hits batting right-handed.

"I'm just glad to be back and helping the team win ballgames any way I can," Grossman said. "I'm trying to do what I was doing before."

Twins manager Paul Molitor has been impressed by Grossman's immediate contributions to the offense, and Molitor has inserted Grossman as the club's No. 9 hitter to help turn over the lineup because of his on-base skills.

"I think I've been pleasantly surprised what he's been able to do so quickly," Molitor said. "He was out several weeks and only had a handful of at-bats in a rehab assignment. He's dealing with that thumb, but it was time to refresh his hands. After a few weeks break, he's come back with quick hands."

Grossman said his thumb is making progress, but that he's likely a week or two from being able to throw. The Twins are hopeful he'll be able to throw by the time returns from his left shin stress reaction, as Sano will be limited to DH duty in the short-term.

"[Grossman] has been trying, but it's been a little slow," Molitor said. "Hopefully that progresses while Miggy heals so that Robbie can be an option to still get some at-bats if we find a spot for him."

The good news, however, is Sano had a positive day on Saturday, taking batting practice and fielding drills at Target Field without any issues. But there's still no target date for his return, and he didn't run on Saturday.

"He's getting closer little by little," Molitor said. "He had a good day today. The swinging went really well, as far as hitting 60-mph batting practice pitches. It's good to know and visualize him doing his work, and we look forward to seeing him on Tuesday."