Rocco Baldelli hinted last week that Trevor Larnach would return to the Twins' lineup this weekend, almost exactly three months after undergoing core-muscle surgery, and Larnach was ready.
"I felt great. I was seeing the ball good, I was having great at-bats" during his rehab assignment with Class AAA St. Paul, he said. "I felt great in the outfield. I just needed the time and get my feet back under me again — and I was, and I was happy about that."
One last tuneup, as the Saints' designated hitter on Wednesday, and he'd be all set. Larnach singled in the first inning, walked in the third, and came to bat one final time in the eighth. He struck out on a foul tip. And disaster struck.
"I took a swing and felt something in my wrist," the 25-year-old outfielder said. "The next day I couldn't hold a bat. And ever since then, it's been rehab again."
It's now unlikely that Larnach will be activated for the season's final nine games, not with his wrist still sore. "He's here, but he's here more to get looked at," Baldelli said. "To spend a little time around the guys, too, but mainly to get seen by the medical guys."
It has been a frustrating 2022 season for Larnach, but an educational one, too. He learned about what his body can and can't do, about how to prepare it for a long season. The education began almost immediately after getting hurt in June.
"I was told it would be six weeks, but you learn really quick that that's not really even reasonable. Especially for a professional athlete trying to play at their highest level. That wasn't really relevant to me," Larnach said. "I had to take a step back to look at what I needed to do to feel really good. I did that and I learned a lot from it. It made me really excited. I felt like Royce [Lewis] coming back from his ACL surgery. Ecstatic. Positive. Happy. All that."
Until Wednesday. Now Larnach says he is considering playing winter ball, "because I feel like I've barely even played this year."