Rocco Baldelli calls out Alex Kirilloff after Twins are forced to place him on IL

Minnesota reversed course on optioning Alex Kirilloff, placing him on 10-day IL instead
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli wasn't very pleased with Alex Kirilloff after the team needed to place him on the 10-day IL.
Minnesota Twins manager Rocco Baldelli wasn't very pleased with Alex Kirilloff after the team needed to place him on the 10-day IL. / Adam Hunger/GettyImages

Things are going pretty well for the Minnesota Twins, but not everyone is having a great time. While the team sinks its teeth into a meaty part of an easy stretch of the schedule, Alex Kirilloff was quietly optioned to Triple-A amid some serious struggles at the plate.

Kirilloff started the season strong, slashing .444/.450/.667 through the first two series of the year. It wasn't long before he fell into a gnarly slump in which he was hitting 201/.270/.384 with a -0.4 WAR at the time of his demotion.

As it turns out, though, there's one final twist.

Rather than be demoted, Kirilloff is hitting the IL with a back injury, something that saves him from losing an option but has drawn the ire of his manager.

Rocco Baldelli calls out Alex Kirilloff for not communicating back injury with Twins

Minnesota placing Kirilloff on the IL is significant because it means he won't lose a minor league option, which gives the Twins more flexibility in the future. That's generally a good thing, but it's the reason he's hitting the IL that seems to be the issue.

Baldelli called Kirilloff out for poorly communication with the coaching staff about how hurt he was. If he kept his injury to himself, that means he was playing through something that was contributing to his rough offensive showing and hindered Baldelli's managerial decisions without him knowing that was happening.

It's unclear if the Twins still plan on optioning Kirilloff after he's off the IL, as a corresponding move has already been made. Austin Martin was called up as a replacement and he's already made the most of his third opportunity in the Majors.

Kirilloff returning to the lineup would mean someone needs to get sent down, and it might still be him when all is said and done. The Twins can't trust that Kirilloff will magically start hitting again after his back heals, and might need to see him prove his offense in St. Paul.

There's also potential punishment from Baldelli in the form of a demotion for not properly communicating his injury.

Right now there's no place for Kirilloff on the MLB roster, but that doesn't mean there won't be in the future. The best case seems to be him spending some time with the Saints after he's activated from the IL and waiting for a chance to get plugged back into the 26-man roster.

Perhaps most ideally, he spends the time learning to communicate better with his coaches to avoid a situation like this in the future.

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