Minnesota Twins: Nelson Cruz heads back to IL with wrist injury
By Chris Schad
The Minnesota Twins designated hitter will head back to the injured list after straining his left wrist in Thursday night’s opener with the Cleveland Indians.
As if the Minnesota Twins loss to the Cleveland Indians wasn’t enough bad news to open a critical four-game series, the Twins are going to be further shorthanded for the foreseeable future as Nelson Cruz was placed on the 10-day injured list thanks to a left wrist strain.
Cruz injured his wrist in the fourth inning of the Twins’ 7-5 loss on Thursday during an at-bat with Cleveland’s Mike Clevinger. With the count 2-1, Cruz took a swing and immediately started grabbing his hand. After Rocco Baldelli and the team trainers came out to look at the designated hitter, Cruz couldn’t even finish the at-bat before being removed from the game and replaced with C.J. Cron.
It’s pretty obvious that the loss of Cruz will be a huge blow for the middle of the Twins order. The 39-year old was on a tear before landing on the shelf, batting .373/.453/1.013 with 15 HR and 29 RBI in his last 21 games. That stretch included his first two career three-homer games and will leave a gaping hole for someone on the Twins to replace.
If there’s good news for the Twins, they may know what to expect with this injury. Cruz suffered the same injury back in mid-May and although it took three weeks for him to return to the lineup, the Twins were able to take their time with his recovery thanks to a large lead in the American League Central.
The Twins won’t be so fortunate this time around as Thursday’s loss cut Minnesota’s lead in the division down to just one game. Minnesota will need key players such as Cron, Miguel Sano and Eddie Rosario to step up in the wake of this injury as they look to claim their first division title since 2010.