In a rather stunning plot twist, the Minnesota Twins added All-Star outfielder Byron Buxton to the ALDS roster mere hours before the first pitch of Game 4.
Buxton was left off the AL Wild Card roster and wasn't expected to play a role in the ALDS after having missed most of the regular season with an injury. It was a down year for the Twins star, as he didn't play the field once and was relegated to being the team's designated hitter all season -- a role he struggled in mightily at times.
Injuries were the reason Buxton was unable to contribute at the level he typically does, which sadly has been a theme throughout his career. He hit the injured list multiple times this year, but the Twins refused to shut him down until late in the season hoping he'd turn things around.
That didn't happen, but the Twins are throwing up a Hail Mary ahead of a must-win Game 4 and hoping Buxton can channel a clutch moment to help them extend the series.
Twins manager explains why Byron Buxton was added to ALDS roster
To allow for the emergency addition of Buxton to the roster, first baseman Alex Kirilloff was placed on the injured list. While it's great to have Buxton back, the cost seems to be another injury that is a troubling storyline to follow into the Twins offseason.
Rocco Baldelli provided further context when explaining why the move was made after MLB approved it.
Another setback for Kirilloff is less than ideal, and it's a major cause for concern moving forward. If the Twins manage to win the series against Houston, they'll be without Kirilloff since he won't be allowed to be added to the ALCS roster.
Donovan Solano has filled in at first base for Kirilloff and was penciled in to start Game 4 anyway, but the Twins might have to turn to Joey Gallo for depth if they reach the next round. The long-term impact of another Kirilloff injury is notable too, as it raises serious questions about what the Twins should do at first base next season, a year where expectations will be as high as they've ever been recently for the team.