Good news on Nelson Cruz? Twins slugger has ruptured tendon, but Twins sounding optimistic

MINNEAPOLIS — The Twins placed designated hitter Nelson Cruz on the 10-day injured list Friday because of a left wrist strain and recalled righthanded pitcher Cody Stashak from Triple-A Rochester.

That brings the Twins pitching staff to 13 arms, but the more significant development is the club losing its best hitter of late.

Cruz was third in the American League with a .426 Weighted On-Base Average at the time of the injury, and that’s a significant blow to lineup if a hitter of that caliber is out for any length of time.

There was optimism, however, that this will not be a long-term injury. Cruz said he has a torn tendon in his left wrist and that he was not in pain when he reported to the ballpark Friday. Twins head athletic trainer Tony Leo classified the injury as a ruptured tendon (extensor carpi ulnaris , to be precise).

“The way it feels today is really good. It’s a miracle that it feels like that,” Cruz said.

Cruz spent time on the injured list in May and June because of the same injury. The Twins’ DH will travel to New York to see a specialist for a second opinion.

Former Twins standout Justin Morneau had the same injury in 2012, he said, and his insight was surprising to those in the room. Morneau said that his wrist hurt on every swing that year, and one day the tendon ruptured and suddenly he could swing pain-free again. He finished the year after the injury, and while Cruz’s injury could be differently — everybody is different, after all — Morneau’s experience is one check in the optimism column for the Twins.

Cruz suffered the injury on a swing in the fourth inning of the Twins’ 7-5 loss on Thursday night to the Cleveland Indians at Target Field. Cruz is hitting .294 with 19 doubles, 32 home runs, 76 RBI, 41 walks, 59 runs and a 1.035 OPS in 87 games this season. Since the All-Star break, he leads baseball with 16 home runs.

Stashak, who was optioned to Rochester on Wednesday, has appeared in five games for the Twins this season, going 0-1 with a 5.87 ERA with no walks and nine strikeouts.