Twins put Buxton, Stewart on injured list

These days, it's like Twins' injuries work in shifts. Jhoan Duran and Carlos Correa returned to the team's bullpen and lineup just this week, so naturally, Byron Buxton and Brock Stewart took their place on the injured list on Friday, felled at least temporarily by a sore knee and tender shoulder, respectively.

The Twins' announcement about Buxton's first trip to the injured this year lacked the aura of dread, the undercurrent of alarm that so many previous updates have included with the star center fielder.

"I am pretty optimistic that this is not something that is going to hold him down for an overly long time. He should be back in a couple of weeks, 10 days, something like that," manager Rocco Baldelli said. "But we're going to have to just wait and see how the next few days go."

There is no structural damage that an MRI could find, Twins President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey said, just some inflammation that is mildly worse than what he deals with on a day-to-day basis.

"He was probably dealing with some inflammation, some soreness, but nothing he couldn't play through," Falvey said. But the repetitive burst necessary to try to steal second on three consecutive pitches, due to foul balls, made it worse. "As he was pushing it on that third steal attempt, I think he felt it enough where he had to pull up, and he knew he had to slow down."

Falvey hinted that Buxton's condition might not take 10 days to heal — "He felt really good getting off the plane" from Chicago, he said — but that they don't want this to be a recurring problem all season, at least no more than it already is.

"He knows this is a long season, and he is still dealing with some tenderness and some tightness," Falvey said. "You don't want to be chasing that every couple of days."

Meanwhile, Stewart had been near spotless this year, giving up only eight hits in 13⅓ innings. Korey Lee's solo homer on Wednesday ended the righthander's streak of 25 consecutive shutout innings.

But the Twins, who announced that Stewart is battling tendinitis in his pitching shoulder, have made it clear since spring training that they would treat Stewart carefully after he missed three months last year because of an elbow injury.

Lefthander Kody Funderburk, sent to Class AAA St. Paul on Wednesday, was summoned back to Target Field to replace Stewart, while Austin Martin, who was already warming up at CHS Field when the call came, hustled back to fill in for Buxton.

Willi Castro will likely be the primary replacement in center field, especially since he's hitting .457 (16 for 35) during his current eight-game hitting streak.

Lewis hopeful

Speaking of injuries, Royce Lewis said he feels healthy again — even though he knows he's not yet.

Lewis' right quad muscle actually tore away from the bone while he ran the bases on Opening Day, the third baseman said, and "it's not fully reattached at all, and we got to wait on that muscle. So I'm patiently waiting on my own body, but that's tough."

Especially since he's able to take roughly 60 swings at a time in the batting cage and field ground balls before games, adding to his own impatience. Lewis underwent an ultrasound exam while the Twins were out of town, "and they said it went just how they expected," Lewis said. "But for me, I took it like, I can't play [so] it's bad. Unless I can play, it's all bad news."


• The Twins recalled righthander Jorge Alcalá from St. Paul, too, after returning Caleb Boushley there the day before. Alcalá, sent down in a roster squeeze in mid-April, gave up two runs in four innings for the Saints. He has yet to give up an earned run in 8⅓ innings for the Twins this year.

• The Twins opened Target Field's upper deck Friday for the first time since their home opener. And Saturday will be the first "Pablo Day," the Twins' special promotion, which includes a Pablo López jersey, for his home starts.

• Recently demoted starter Louie Varland gave up three hits and no walks while striking out eight in seven innings as the Saints beat Rochester 4-0 at CHS Field. Rehabbing Justin Topa struck out two in a 1-2-3 eighth inning, and Matt Wallner homered in a three-run sixth.