Rocco Baldelli had a sense that Byron Buxton might not be activated during the Twins’ three-game trip to Seattle. Still, the Twins saw benefit to bringing Buxton to Seattle, for two reasons: So coaches and trainers could lay their eyes on him, and for Buxton’s mental health.

“Being here, getting back on the baseball schedule with his teammates, going through full days (and) not just working out on his own back in Minneapolis, being here would be good for him and would get him kind of in that routine that he needs to be in when he returns,” Baldelli said. “We can go through that routine and then also build him back running-wise to where he needs to be.”

Buxton played in three rehab games in St. Paul, homering twice and driving in seven runs. But Baldelli said the center fielder had experienced “residual soreness” after the assignment. Buxton suffered a Grade 2 strain of his right hip in early May.

The Twins had running Buxton out on the field ahead of Wednesday’s late game against Mariners. How he feels afterward will determine the next steps for their star center fielder.

“If he’s able to sprint like he can sprint, he’s going to play real soon,” Baldelli said. “If he can’t, he’s not going to play yet, so that’s really all it comes down to. It’s simple. When Buck can run, he’s going to play. … Frankly, if I think he’s going out there and putting himself at risk by sprinting to re-injure himself, then he’s not going to play.”

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Baldelli said Buxton had been in his office multiple times trying to talk his way back into action, but when they get into a conversation of the details and exactly how Buxton is doing, Baldelli said “it’s not quite time yet.” The manager didn’t rule out the chance that Buxton may need to play more rehab games.

If another rehab stint were to happen, Baldelli suggested it would be later this week or potentially early next week.

“I’d love nothing more than to write his name in the lineup today, but we have to stand in the way of him putting himself at risk,” Baldelli said. “I think he’ll be back out there soon.”

Injury updates

Twins catcher Mitch Garver, who has been out since suffering what the Twins dubbed a “groin contusion” on June 1, has been doing some light movement but has not yet started participating in baseball activity.

Garver underwent surgery that night, and Baldelli said he has not yet gotten his stitches taken out. Baldelli expressed some hope that Garver could begin baseball activity next week.

Baldelli said that if Max Kepler (hamstring) gets through his rehab game in St. Paul on Wednesday night without incident, it’s possible the outfielder joins the club as soon as Friday when the Twins head to Texas. They have an off day Thursday in between their series in Seattle and their series in Arlington.


Reliever Caleb Thielbar (groin strain) was activated from the injured list. As the corresponding move, the Twins sent down rookie Griffin Jax, who threw 93 pitches in relief on Tuesday night. … The Twins have not yet determined a starter for Saturday’s game in Michael Pineda’s slot in the rotation.