Injury was added to insult almost as soon as the Minnesota Twins were eliminated from the ALDS earlier this month.
Alex Kirilloff was blasted by fans for an error he made in the first inning of Game 4, but it was later revealed that he was playing injured. Following the game, the Twins announced that Kirilloff would undergo offseason shoulder surgery that would knock him out of action for the next 4-6 months.
That put him on track to be healthy by Opening Day, but not in a position to begin the season on the active roster. It was a timeline that would have required a rehab stint at Triple-A and likely would have meant the Twins would be without Kirilloff for the first month of the season if not longer.
In what is hopefully the first of many positive offseason plot twists, it turns out the Twins won't have to go down that road.
Twins reveal encouraging Alex Kirilloff injury update
According to Twins beat writer Dan Hayes, Kirilloff underwent a far less invasive procedure than initially thought. A statement released by the team after the surgery was over suggests that the first baseman might be back much sooner than expected.
Key in on 'weeks' as that's an entirely different timeline from what everyone initially thought would be the case. When it was revealed that Kirilloff would need surgery, the fear was that he would need to spend the next 4-6 months recovering.
That meant adding what to do at first base to the long list of key decisions the Twins need to make this offseason. If Kirilloff is only going to miss a few weeks before getting into his normal offseaosn routine, that changes everything.
Minnesota might still look for depth at first base, but the plan might not be that different from what it could have been if Kirilloff was going to be out. Donovan Solano was a candidate to be re-signed and fill in at first, which is a move the Twins might still make even after this news.
What changes is that the Twins no longer have to worry about finding a long-term solution for replacing Kirilloff. We're sort of in the same boat as we were last winter, as the team was hoping he'd come back healthy after undergoing surgery. This seems like a much shorter timeline, and the positive update means the team might be able to re-focus its attention to improving things elsewhere on the roster.