Twins top prospect evaluates second year in pro ball

MINNEAPOLIS -- Top prospects Byron Buxton, Alex Meyer and Eddie Rosario are among seven Twins Minor Leaguers set to play in the Arizona Fall League this year.

Buxton, ranked as the No. 1 overall prospect according to MLB.com, is considered the headliner for the Arizona Fall League, which begins play in early October. Meyer, ranked as the No. 33 overall prospect, and Rosario, ranked No. 64, join Buxton as Twins prospects ranked in MLB.com's Top 100 set to play in the Fall League.

Other Twins farmhands set to represent the organization include right-hander Trevor May, outfielder Max Kepler, right-handed relievers Zach Jones and A.J. Achter. All seven players will play for the Glendale Desert Dogs, which will be managed by Double-A New Britain skipper Jeff Smith.

"It's a pretty good group," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said. "You put guys in that league and they need to take advantage of the situation, the exposure and competition playing with different players and different coaches. There's a flock of scouts at every game."

Buxton, 19, has dominated at Class A Cedar Rapids and Class A Advanced Fort Myers this season, hitting a combined .335/.426/.532 with 12 homers, 19 doubles, 18 triples and 52 stolen bases in 117 games. Ryan said the goal is to continue to challenge Buxton, who will be one of the younger players in the Arizona Fall League.

"We think Buxton is ready to go compete out there," Ryan said. "This league has gotten younger as it's evolved."

Twins place Willingham on waivers

MIN@CLE: Willingham plates a pair with a double

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins placed left fielder Josh Willingham on revocable waivers, a Major League source confirmed on Tuesday.

Willingham is the second prominent Twins player to be placed on waivers this month, after first baseman Justin Morneau cleared waivers in mid-August.

But the key difference is that Willingham still has another year on his contract, while Morneau's deal expires after the season. Willingham, who is hitting .214/.348/.393 with 12 homers in 87 games this season, is set to make $7 million next year as part of a three-year, $21 million deal signed before the 2011 season.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said it will be business as usual for his club despite the news of Willingham being on waivers. Willingham was in the lineup on Tuesday against the Royals, batting cleanup and starting in left field.

"I don't think every player who has been through [waivers] has been tweeted, but that's just the way it is now," Gardenhire said. "People find out. I'd imagine most of our players have been through waivers. You read about names like that and I don't know how they get out there, but they do."

If Willingham is claimed by a team, the two clubs will have 48 hours to work out a deal. But the Twins also could decide to let the claiming team take Willingham and the rest of his contract without a return, or pull him back off waivers, which means he wouldn't be able to be traded to any team. If he clears waivers like Morneau, he can be traded to any club.

"If you're looking for a right-handed bat who can put one in the seats, then Willingham would definitely be one of those guys," Gardenhire said. "He's healthy. Even though he's not swinging the bat well now, if you put him in a different atmosphere, he might take off and that's what everyone is looking for -- someone to put them over the top."

Still no timetable for Mauer's return

NYM@MIN: Mauer takes foul ball to the helmet

MINNEAPOLIS -- While Joe Mauer told manager Ron Gardenhire he's starting to feel a little better on Tuesday, there's still no timetable as to when the All-Star catcher will return to the lineup.

Mauer was placed on the 7-day disabled list with a concussion after he was a late scratch prior to the Twins' Aug. 20 game at Detroit, due to dizziness in batting practice. The concussion occurred after Mauer took an Ike Davis foul tip off his mask during a makeup game with the Mets on Aug. 19.

"We just have to wait and see," Gardenhire said. "I don't have a timetable. He came in today and says he feels actually pretty decent. He's had some rough days at home. ... He's getting better and it's just going to take time here."

According to Twins general manager Terry Ryan, there is no plan to shut Mauer down for the season.

"There's no thought of that," Ryan said. "We'll just wait for him to recover and get him going."

Gardenhire noted it will be a process when the trainers do finally clear Mauer to play. Once he's determined to be healthy enough to return, the Twins skipper said the team have to talk with Mauer and decide where best to play him -- at catcher, first base or filling in as the designated hitter.

Arcia continues to struggle with sore wrist

CLE@MIN: Arcia doubles home Morneau in the first

MINNEAPOLIS -- Oswaldo Arcia has attempted to play through pain in his left wrist, but his swing has continued to suffer, so the rookie will get some more time off to recover.

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire did not mince words when addressing the state of his young outfielder's injury.

"No. No he's not," Gardenhire said when asked if Arcia was doing well. "He told me his hand was hurting. I brought him in here today to check on him and definitely his hand is hurting when he swings, a sharp pain.

"I told him, 'You're going to see the trainers and we're going to get this straightened out.' Because he's been trying to play through this thing, says he's fine. But he's not fine. We can see it in the way he's swinging. It's just not a good swing."

Arcia injured his wrist diving for a ball during a game against the White Sox two weeks ago. He was held out of the lineup for a few games, but has played since, making a start on Saturday in Cleveland. He went 0-for-4 with three strikeouts in the 7-2 loss.

Gardenhire noted that Arcia initially felt pain in the top of his wrist, but now it's more down on the outside of his wrist. As a result, Arcia's swing has notably suffered.

"I just wanted him to know, 'It's not like we're mad at you. If you're hurt, you're hurt. You just have to be honest with us and tell us you're hurt,'" Gardenhire said. "He wants to play and he wants to be a part of it, but he's not swinging very well.

"We'll let this guy get healthy. He's a big part of our future here and I don't want to see him do something silly and he's definitely not swinging good now. It's just not happening."

Arcia has yet to be placed on the disabled list, and as it's so close to September and expanded rosters, Gardenhire isn't sure if he'll need to move Arcia anywhere -- especially since the Twins will play with a short bench as long as Arcia's out -- but it does remain a possibility.

"We're so close to the [Sept. 1], where we could make a move," Gardenhire said. "They're [Triple-A Rochester] in a playoff race, but I won't rule it out."