AL Central Notes: Meadows, Moncada, Kirilloff, Twins

MLB Trade Rumors

The Tigers called Parker Meadows back up from Triple-A yesterday, optioning Akil Baddoo to Toledo in the corresponding move.  Meadows marked his return to the Show with a solo home run in the Tigers’ 5-4 win over the Reds on Friday, hopefully indicating that the 24-year-old outfielder can translate his Triple-A success to some more consistent production in the big leagues.  After batting only .096/.224/.219 in his first 85 plate appearances this year, Detroit sent Meadows back to Triple-A on May 7, and Meadows responded with a .298/.394/.511 slash line in 221 PA over his two months in Toledo.

A little mechanical adjustment” seemed to do the trick, as Meadows told Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free Press that keeping his hands up allowed him to keep a more level swing, since “it’s hard to hit a rising fastball when your swing is uphill.”  While Meadows continued to have trouble with breaking balls in Toledo, being able to catch up with high velocity could help Meadows produce at something closer to average offense in the majors, which might be all he needs to stick as a regular center fielder given his top-tier glovework.  Since Detroit is falling out of the playoff race, the remainder of the season could be an important evaluation period for Meadows to show he can continue to be a key part of the Tigers’ future plans.

More from the AL Central…

  • Yoan Moncada played in just 11 games before a left adductor strain sent him to the injured list, but the White Sox third baseman is set to get back to action in the Arizona Complex League next week.  Sox manager Pedro Grifol told and other media that Moncada will be limited to only DH duty for now, and “if everything goes right, we’re looking at him probably at the end of, close to the end of July” for a return to the majors.  Moncada’s strain was bad enough that he was initially given a 3-to-6 month recovery timeline, and while his rehab plan still seems somewhat fluid, it seems like his season is no longer in jeopardy.  Moncada is in the final guaranteed year of his five-year, $70MM contract, and since Chicago is very unlikely to exercise its $25MM club option on Moncada for 2025, the infielder could be returning for his final games in a White Sox uniform.
  • Alex Kirilloff has been on the Twins’ 10-day injured list since June 13 due to a back strain, and Kirilloff provided media (including the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Bobby Nightengale) with an update on his status yesterday.  Since part of the discomfort in Kirilloff’s back was due to a nerve issue, he received a cortisone shot and has been working on core-strengthening exercises for now, hopefully with an eye towards soon starting to take swings.  Injuries have plagued the career of the former top prospect, as Kirilloff has been limited to 249 games since his MLB debut in 2021 due to a shoulder surgery, two wrist surgeries, and now this back problem.
  • In other Twins injury news, relievers Brock Stewart and Justin Topa each threw 20-pitch sessions (Stewart a live batting practice, Topa a bullpen session) in the last few days.  Stewart has now missed over two months due to tendinitis in his right shoulder, but manager Rocco Baldelli told Nightengale and other reporters that Stewart isn’t far away from a minor league rehab assignment.  Topa has yet to pitch at all this season after initially starting on the IL with left patellar tendinitis, but in mid-May was diagnosed with a partial tear in his patellar tendon.  Since Topa has only recently restarted his throwing progression, it will still be a while before the right-hander is fully ready for his 2024 debut.

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