Buxton says live hitting bothers bruised hand

Twins outfielder is day to day, but could pinch-run or play defense

Buxton says live hitting bothers bruised hand

MINNEAPOLIS -- Twins center fielder Byron Buxton said his bruised left hand felt better on Friday, but it still affects him when facing live pitching, so he was held out of the lineup in a 5-4 win over the Angels at Target Field.

Buxton, who was hit on his left hand with a 90-mph fastball from White Sox right-hander Mat Latos in Thursday's 3-1 loss, underwent X-rays on Friday that came back negative and was diagnosed with a bruised hand. Buxton said he believes he could come off the bench as a pinch-runner or for defensive purposes, but admitted his hand is a bit swollen and he can still feel it while hitting.

"I'm glad it's not as bad as it looked," Buxton said. "I hit off the tee and did flips and that felt pretty good. I took live BP and it stung a little bit. But not too bad. I went out and did some shagging and that wasn't too bad either."

Manager Paul Molitor, who said he believes Buxton will be out of the lineup for three to five days, added he doesn't expect Buxton will see any action on Friday, but was glad to hear he was doing better.

"I think it's fairly unlikely he'll get an at-bat," Molitor said. "I think it would be uncomfortable for him to see live pitching."

With Buxton held out of the lineup, Eddie Rosario started in center field. It was the first start in center for Rosario this season, and the fourth time in his career. It allowed Oswaldo Arcia to start in left field.

Worth noting

• With the offense scuffling, Molitor shuffled his lineup, opting to give second baseman Brian Dozier a rare night off, as Eduardo Nunez started at second base instead. Dozier played in 157 games last year, and didn't miss his first game until April 29, 2015, as part of a doubleheader.

• Outfielder David Murphy, who was signed to a Minor League deal on Thursday, officially joined Triple-A Rochester's roster on Friday. Murphy gives the Twins outfield depth, as their young outfielders Miguel Sano, Rosario and Buxton have struggled so far this season and backup outfielder Danny Santana is on the 15-day disabled list with a strained hamstring. Molitor, though, said the club hasn't discussed sending down any of its young outfielders this early in the season.

• Pitching prospect Kohl Stewart, the club's first-round pick in the 2013 Draft, is off to a hot start at Class A Advanced Fort Myers. Stewart has a 1.50 ERA in two outings with 13 strikeouts in 12 innings, including throwing six shutout innings on Thursday. Stewart, ranked as the club's No. 7 prospect by MLBPipeline.com, had a 3.20 ERA at Fort Myers last year, but struck out 71 in 129 1/3 innings.

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.