The Twins suffered another hit to their infield depth today, as they placed third baseman Jose Miranda on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder impingement. In a corresponding move, the club called up outfielder Matt Wallner from Triple-A.
It’s been a brutal year at the plate for Miranda, who entered the season as the club’s starting third baseman but was demoted to Triple-A after slashing just .220/.275/.318 in his first 142 plate appearances this season. Since then, the Twins have been ravaged by injuries across the infield that prompted the club to give Miranda another look in the big leagues despite his meager .255/.326/.360 slash line at the Triple-A level. He ultimately recorded just 10 more at-bats in the big leagues before going down with injury, going 1 for 10 with a strikeout and no walks.
Now Miranda is joining fellow infielders Jorge Polanco, Nick Gordon, and Royce Lewis on the injured list. With that group out, the Twins seem poised to rely on Edouard Julien, Kyle Farmer, and Donovan Solano around the infield alongside Alex Kirilloff at first base and Carlos Correa at shortstop. Fortunately, reinforcements may be on the way in the near future. As noted by MLB.com’s Do-Hyoung Park, Polanco is poised to begin a rehab assignment on Sunday, indicating he’s nearing a return to the big league club. Polanco has played just 30 games this season due to injuries, and has struggled somewhat at the plate when healthy as evidenced by a .250/.291/.450 slash line (104 wRC+) that’s a far cry from the .272/.339/.455 (116 wRC+) he offered from 2018-22.
Polanco’s difficult year has allowed for the emergence of Julien, who has raked to the tune of a .279/.355/.515 slash line, good for a wRC+ of 140. With Byron Buxton entrenched as the club’s designated hitter and both Polanco and Julien limited to second base defensively, it will be a challenge for the Twins to find adequate playing time for both hitters. Last time Polanco was activated off the injured list, the club optioned Julien to Triple-A to allow both regular at-bats. Since his return to the big leagues on June 10, however, Julien has slashed a fantastic .324/.393/.568, underscoring his importance to the Twins’ lineup as currently constructed.
While Polanco’s return is certainly encouraging, Twins fans received much more concerning news today regarding the health of top pitching prospect Connor Prielipp. Per Park, Prielipp is slated to undergo surgery on his UCL next Monday, though the extent of the surgery won’t be known until the procedure occurs. The club’s second round pick in the 2022 draft, Prielipp has managed just 6 2/3 innings of work in his pro debut this season due to injuries. As noted by Park, this won’t be the first time Prielipp goes under the knife due to UCL issues, as the lefty underwent Tommy John surgery while in college back in 2021.