FORT MYERS, Fla. — The Twins avoided the worst on Wednesday, Feb. 19, after designated Nelson Cruz was hit on the left wrist by a pitch during live batting practice by reliever Cody Stashak. Cruz immediately halted his live BP and walked off the field, wincing to the dugout.
“Nellie went inside, got checked out. He’s seemingly OK. We’ll re-evaluate him tomorrow. It looks like a bruise. He’s going to be OK,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “Anytime you have live BPs going on, there’s always a possibility — it’s not good when anyone gets hit. We’re going to make sure Nellie’s OK before he gets back out there. I’m sure it won’t be long.”
Cruz said he had an X-ray taken, and it was negative. The left wrist is the same one in which he ruptured a tendon last season. He said because the ball hit him where the tendon had ruptured, it didn’t hurt to swing — it just hurt from being hit.
“That’s a good thing that I didn’t have the tendon there,” Cruz said.
The Twins have been holding live BP since Monday, when position players had their first full workout. The Twins will play their first game on Friday against the University of Minnesota before starting Grapefruit League games on Saturday.
“We only get four days this year and really most years with your position players and your pitchers all in camp at one time before games get going, so you take advantage of those days the best ways you can. It’s good for both sides,” Baldelli said. “You always run that risk of what we saw today, but it’s actually good for the pitchers to get in there and see some hitters, and it’s good for the hitters to get up there and get their timing kind of down a little bit before we get into games.”
Byron Buxton was a notable participant Wednesday in live BP, standing in and looking at pitches. The center fielder had shoulder surgery in September and is working through a hitting progression to get him ready for Opening Day in March.
Buxton didn’t swing his bat during the BP session, and Baldelli said he doesn’t believe he will be swinging in live sessions right now, continuing his hitting progression in the cage instead. Aside from that, Buxton has been able to be an active participant in most other activities.
“He’s able to take part in all the defensive drills and base running,” Baldelli said. “So we’re getting him on his feet, we’re moving him around, we’re not really limiting him in any regard. He can do some things; we’re letting him do those things.”
Reliever Sergio Romo, who had a minor strain of his non-throwing shoulder, threw a bullpen session on Wednesday. … The Twins added catcher Caleb Hamilton to major league camp. Hamilton, 25, split time last season between Double-A Pensacola and Triple-A Rochester.