Already on DL, Buxton suffers fracture in toe

Molitor: Return timeline should become clearer over next 5 days

April 28th, 2018

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins received tough news on Saturday, as an MRI exam revealed a hairline fracture in center fielder 's left big toe after he fouled a ball off it during a rehab game with Class A Advanced Fort Myers on Sunday. There's no timetable for his return, as the Twins hope to know more about his status over the next five days.

Buxton hasn't played with the Twins since April 12, as was placed on the 10-day disabled list with migraines and sustained his toe injury during his lone rehab game. Buxton had a toenail procedure to try to relieve pressure, but it was clear something was still bothering him, so he underwent the MRI that found the fracture.

"It's a little disappointing, and it explains his inability to get back on the field down there in Florida," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "You're hoping it's one of those things where it won't be extremely long with the fact that they had to search to find it. But it's going to change things here in the short term. We're going to monitor him the rest of the homestand and then make a decision from there. But it's going to cost us more games than we originally thought."

It could've been worse with Buxton, however, as it's not a full fracture in his toe. He's able to swing the bat without much of an issue, allowing him to hit off a tee, but he's bothered while running.

"If it's a significant fracture, you're talking four to six weeks, but I don't think that's the case here," Molitor said. "We're hopeful somehow it becomes tolerable in a more reasonable timeframe. The next five days probably should give us an indication of progress."

Once Buxton can tolerate the pain, he's expected to go on a rehab assignment because he's been out for so long. He remained in good spirits before Saturday's game against the Reds, and he's hopeful he could return sooner than later.

"I'm gonna always try to play with it," Buxton said. "But probably gonna let it sit the next couple days. Let the symptoms go down a little bit and see what I can tolerate."

With Buxton out, , Max Kepler and figure to see action in center field. Molitor said he's happy to have depth but noted it's still a downgrade from Buxton, who is considered the best defensive player in the Majors.

"When you get used to seeing Byron, other things aren't going to look the same," Molitor said. "But those guys are comfortable enough to play [center]."

Sano out with hamstring tightness

Twins third baseman was held out of Saturday's lineup with hamstring tightness. He sustained the injury during Friday's game, but it's not considered serious, according to Molitor. Sano was held out more for precautionary reasons after the quick turnaround from Friday night's game.

"He didn't run particularly hard in his last [at-bat] and we told him to be smart about it," Molitor said.

Santana making progress

Right-hander , who is rehabbing after undergoing surgery to remove calcium deposits from his right middle finger in early February, has continued his throwing program at the club's Spring Training complex in Florida and is nearing his first bullpen session.

"Everything is positive with Erv," Molitor said. "He's anxious to do more. All of his long-toss and shoulder exercises have been great. He threw some fastballs on flat ground the other day, and I think it's imminent he'll be throwing off a mound."

Magill's contract selected

The Twins selected right-hander Matt Magill's contract from Triple-A Rochester on Saturday after designating fellow right-hander for assignment on Friday. Magill, 28, threw 8 2/3 scoreless innings with 13 strikeouts at Rochester. He's made 11 career appearances in the Majors with the Dodgers (2013) and Reds ('16), posting a 6.47 ERA in 32 innings.

"Attacking the hitters was working for me," Magill said. "I was throwing the baseball in spots where I felt like they couldn't hit it. I just felt comfortable attacking."