Twins call up veteran Schafer rather than Buxton

With Santana on DL, Minnesota goes with former as latter works on contact rate

Twins call up veteran Schafer rather than Buxton

CLEVELAND -- Byron Buxton was named the International League Batter of the Week on Monday, but it was veteran outfielder Logan Schafer who was recalled to join the Twins with Danny Santana placed on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left shoulder.

Buxton hit .353 with four homers and eight RBIs in seven games with Triple-A Rochester last week, but he's still had issues making contact, as he also struck out 17 times in 35 plate appearances. So the Twins went with Schafer, who played parts of five seasons in the Majors with the Brewers from 2011-15 and was hitting .264/.340/.361 with four homers, seven doubles and 19 RBIs in 64 games with Rochester. Schafer started in center and hit ninth against Cleveland in Monday's 1-0, 10-inning loss, during which he went 0-for-2.

"I'm ridiculously excited to be here," Schafer said. "Obviously, I wish it was under better circumstances with Santana going down. But I'm happy to be here, and hopefully I can contribute to some winning baseball here. I wasn't counting on anything because there are three ridiculously talented outfielders in Rochester with Buxton, [Daniel] Palka and Adam Brett Walker playing well."

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Buxton is expected to be a September callup once rosters expand, but the decision to select Schafer's contract instead of bringing up Buxton shows the organization still wants Buxton to work on improving his contact rate until the Triple-A season ends on Sept. 5.

"The strikeouts are still there, but he had some home runs this week, which was good to see," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I still think the at-bats, from what I hear and what I read about, there is still some inconsistencies there. So we'll see how he finishes up down there."

Schafer, who turns 30 on Sept. 8, took an interesting route to the Majors this season, as he began the year in Major League camp with the Nationals, only to ask for his release on March 19 because of a crowded outfield situation in Washington. With teams finalizing their rosters in late March, he had to settle for playing in the independent Atlantic League.

The Twins saw Schafer playing well for the Lancaster Barnstormers and signed him to a Minor League deal on June 2. He made the most the situation, playing regularly for Triple-A Rochester at all three outfield positions before finding out shortly before Sunday's game he was getting called up.

"The Twins gave me an opportunity," Schafer said. "I was able to play almost every day and enjoyed it. And it got me here."

Schafer, who hits and throws left-handed, also said he was one of the veterans at Rochester, and that he'll continue to embrace that role to help out the club's young outfielders such as Max Kepler and Eddie Rosario.

"I think they saw me as a guy who could talk to the younger outfielders in the clubhouse," Schafer said. "They have a lot of youngsters with unbelievable talent with their prospects and guys like Kep and Bux and Rosie. So in Triple-A, I was a mentor and could still play. I'm agile and healthy. So I've enjoyed helping these kids."

Worth noting
• Left-hander Buddy Boshers, on the 15-day disabled list with left elbow inflammation since Aug. 11, started his rehab assignment with Triple-A Rochester on Monday. He's expected to be recalled once rosters expand.

Miguel Sano made his first start at third base since Aug. 18 on Monday against the Indians. Molitor said Sano's right elbow is getting better, and he's been taking infield drills without any issues.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. 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.