Twins.Cruz.Injury
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz (23) bends over after getting hurt while at bat during the fourth inning Thursday against the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. (Jesse Johnson / USA TODAY Sports)

MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz got good news Monday after being examined by hand specialist Thomas Graham in New York.

Cruz, who ruptured the ECU tendon in his left wrist, has no further damage, which means that his wrist will not require surgery, per the Twins.

He is expected to resume baseball activities today in Milwaukee, where he will begin his hitting program.

Cruz, who had strained his wrist earlier in the season, ruptured the tendon on Thursday. While his initial reaction indicated severe trouble, Cruz said he was pain-free on Friday.

“This is a unique injury and it is something other players in baseball have dealt with, other players in baseball have played with it,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “It’s not common to hear of an injury like that when the player is not discussing being in pain or being in discomfort in any way. And so you take it for what it’s worth.”

In his 15 games up to the injury, Cruz hit .415 with 12 home runs and 25 runs batted in. Cruz would be eligible to come off the injured list on Aug. 19, and needless to say, his availability during the stretch run will be very important to the Twins.

Cruz is one of four key players on the Twins’ injured list. Pitchers Michael Pineda (triceps strain) and Sam Dyson (biceps tendinitis) are both moving closer to returns and could potentially be ready this week. Byron Buxton (shoulder subluxation) will be out longer.

2020 SCHEDULE SET

The Twins still have plenty of baseball in front of them in 2019 — 44 regular-season games, then possibly the playoffs — in a race that figures to be a fight to the finish, but for those who like to plan ahead, Major League Baseball released the 2020 schedule on Monday.

The Twins will begin their 2020 campaign on March 26 in Oakland. After a four-game series in Oakland and three games in Seattle, the Twins return to Minnesota for their home opener on April 2 against the Athletics.

The Giants will make their first-ever visit to Target Field from May 4-6.

The Rockies (June 26-28) and Dodgers (July 28-29) also will visit, along with the Brewers’ annual trip (June 16-17). The Twins will head out west to play the Dodgers (April 28-29), Diamondbacks (July 20-22) and Padres (Sept. 22-24). They visit Milwaukee in August.

They will make their first trip to the Rangers’ new park, which will open next season, right after the all-star break from July 17-19. The Yankees will visit Target Field in mid-June, and the Red Sox come in late April.

HR RECORD SINKING IN

The Twins smashed past their single-season team home run record, setting a franchise record in the sixth inning of Friday’s game.

Minnesota averages 1.95 per game and, at that rate, is on pace to break the major league record set by the New York Yankees (267) on Sept. 3 and become the first team to reach 300 in a season on Sept. 20.

“Hopefully we hit a lot more extra-base hits and homers before (the end of the season), and we can look at it when it’s all said and done. But it’s been impressive to watch to this point, and I’d expect to see more of it,” Baldelli said.

Eddie Rosario’s sixth-inning home run Friday, which came after Jason Castro’s blast an inning earlier that tied the record set by the 1963 club, was the record-breaking 226th home run of the season.

Going into today’s game at Milwaukee, the Twins have five players with 20 or more home runs — Cruz (32), Max Kepler (32), Rosario (25), MItch Garver (21) and Miguel Sano (20). CJ Cron is close, with 19.

“You can’t really assume this kind of output, no matter how many home-run hitters you assemble in spring training,” Cron said, “”but I think we looked at the lineup in the spring and we definitely saw the power, and if everyone could kind of take it up to the next level, something like this was possible,” Cron said.

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