Twins manager Rocco Baldelli gladly wrote Marwin Gonzalez's name into Monday’s lineup as the American League Central leaders returned home.
But such is the case recently for Minnesota, the Twins got back one key piece while learning another might need to miss time of his own due to injury.
González made his return Monday to start a series against the Chicago White Sox after missing 18 games with an abdominal injury, but Baldelli admitted the team will need to back off first baseman C.J. Cron to give his bruised thumb time to heal.
“I think we’re at a point where we might slow him down a little bit because he’s gotten to this point in his career by probably playing through a lot of injuries, and this has been a challenging one for him to play through,” Baldelli said of Cron. “No one can play with what he’s playing with right now and swing the bat with the intensity that you need to swing the bat with to play at this level. I think we’re still going to see him out there at times, but I think pulling him back a little bit I think makes sense.”
Baldelli said Cron -- who’s hitting .253 with 24 home runs and 76 RBIs in 119 games -- could see time as a pinch-hitter or defensive replacement. But the Twins want to give his thumb injury (termed a bone bruise by Minnesota’s executive vice president and chief baseball officer Derek Falvey) some rest.