Twins’ Alex Kirilloff quiets concerns about wrist

It was mere weeks ago that the questions surrounding Alex Kirilloff were mostly about his wrist and whether it would require surgery, cutting what had looked to be an exciting rookie season short.

Kirilloff, who returned from the injured list on May 21, seems to be quieting those concerns. The rookie has become stalwart in the Twins’ lineup since his return, finding himself hitting recently between veterans Josh Donaldson and Nelson Cruz.

While Kirilloff said his wrist sometimes bothers him if he chases or swings and misses particularly hard, he has been keeping up with wrist exercises, taking dips in the hot and cold tubs, icing and doing other necessary preparation and recovery to make sure his right wrist is feeling good.

“We’ve been doing a good job of staying up on it every day and doing the necessary things to keep it ready to swing every day and keep it going,” Kirilloff said.

And when it’s bothered him, it sure hasn’t showed.

The rookie, who went hitless against Baltimore on Monday, recorded his first career three-hit day on Sunday against the Kansas City Royals, reaching base four times in the game. Manager Rocco Baldelli is even sure he saw the ultra-serious rookie crack a smile on Sunday after watching fellow rookie Ben Rortvedt hit his first career home run.

Kirilloff finished the month of May slashing .283/.316/.472 in 13 games.

“He’s just kind of, he’s there and he’s hitting. That works pretty well,” Baldelli said. “We knew he had the wrist issue. He was down for a while. We didn’t really know what to make of it for a period of time, but he’s obviously recovered from that very well, and he looks back to normal.”

LARNACH OUT

Rookie outfielder Trevor Larnach was out of the starting lineup on Monday after getting drilled on the inside of his left foot with a pitch near the end of Sunday’s game. Baldelli said Larnach was having trouble walking off the plane, and so they put him in a walking boot to help assist him.

“He’s just not moving around great,” Baldelli said.

After treatment during the day on Monday, Larnach wound up unavailable to play in the team’s 3-2 win over the Orioles.

“He wasn’t going to go out there and pinch-hit or run or go play defense or really anything to help us win,” Baldelli said. “He was really there as an extra body just in case we needed something. We’re going to continue to just work on him and see how he is tomorrow.

BRIEFLY

Baldelli said Kenta Maeda, who has been dealing with arm soreness, was scheduled to do some light throwing in Baltimore on Monday. … Michael Pineda will start on Tuesday against the Orioles. Pineda gave up one run on three hits against Baltimore in his last start. … The Twins activated reliever Shaun Anderson from the injured list and optioned him to Triple-A, where he had already been on a rehab assignment.

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