Twins to 'mix and match' in CF due to injuries

Molitor doesn't see rotation at position as disadvantage

Twins to 'mix and match' in CF due to injuries

MILWAUKEE -- Due to injuries to outfielders Byron Buxton and Aaron Hicks, the Twins will be using a stable of players to play center field, according to manager Paul Molitor.

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Hicks completed his first rehab game as the designated hitter for Triple-A Rochester on Friday. He went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts, and his first eligible day to return to the big league club is Monday. Buxton was placed on the 15-day disabled list with a sprained left thumb on Friday, and Molitor expects him to miss four to six weeks.

That leaves the Twins with center field options of Eddie Rosario -- who received the start there during Saturday's game against the Brewers -- Shane Robinson and newly promoted Danny Santana.

"We're just going to try and mix and match out there," Molitor said before Saturday's game.

Rosario has mostly been employed in the corner outfield spots this season with the Twins, but he rotated with Hicks in center at Rochester on nearly a daily basis earlier this season. Molitor doesn't believe the change will be an issue for the 23-year-old.

"Center field, from my limited experience, is easier than the corners because of your vision seeing the swing a little better and tracking the ball," Molitor said. "He reads the ball well, he breaks on the ball well."

A conversation with Mike Quade, Rochester's manager, eased any concerns Molitor might have had about Rosario there, too, assuring him that if he needed him to play center, he'd be fine.

Although Santana started at shortstop on Saturday against the Brewers, he'll be an option for the Twins in center moving forward. He's open to the idea of playing there after predominantly playing in the infield both with the Twins and Rochester this season.

Santana's slick defense

"He was excited to be playing every day, and he played well at shortstop [with Rochester]," Molitor said of Santana. "They had conversations down there about center field, and he was open-minded about that, too."

As for the constant rotation in center field and in the lineup possibly being viewed as a disadvantage, Molitor didn't see it that way.

"I don't look at it as a disadvantage, and I don't think they players do, either," Molitor said. "I think they see it as, 'How is this going to work in our favor today?'"

Brandon Curry is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.