During Sunday’s game against the Cleveland Indians, Minnesota Twins outfielder Josh Willingham was plunked by a pitch and subsequently removed from the game with a reported hand injury. It looked as if the right-handed slugger could avoid the disabled list after initial X-rays were negative, but now, a report has surfaced suggesting that he will head to the 15-day DL on Saturday.
#MNTwins will put Josh Willingham (hand contusion) on the DL tomorrow and call up reliever Michael Tonkin.
— Tyler Mason (@FSNtylermason) April 11, 2014
Tyler Mason of Fox Sports North reports that the Twins are planning to send the 35-year-old Willingham to the DL, and to be honest, that seems like the safe (and correct) move. Minnesota has already lost nearly a week of action for Willingham, and because he hasn’t appeared in a game, they can make the move retroactive and avoid a long layoff. In addition, he is one of their best (read: only) power hitters from the right side of the plate, and if the Twins have any illusions of competing this year, they’ll need the guy who blasted 35 home runs in 2012.
Hand and/or wrist injuries are nothing to fool around with, but because the Twins are being careful, it is more likely that they’ll avoid a long term issue with Willingham.