The Twins conceded Monday that Buxton, who was hitting .156 with 24 strikeouts in 49 plate appearances, needed more minor league seasoning and sent him back to Triple-A Rochester along with fellow outfielder Max Kepler.
After missing 14 games with a hamstring strain, Santana was activated from the disabled list and “returned to discover a full-time job awaiting him,” reports Phil Miller of the Star Tribune.
Santana, who started in center on Monday night against Cleveland, was a starting outfielder for the Twins in 2014, but his production declined sharply to .215/.241/.291 last season. The Twins will likely bring back Buxton once he regains his stroke, but it remains a solid opportunity for Santana to prove he deserves his share of at-bats.
Eddie Rosario also can play center field for the Twins. The odds of Santana getting more playing time increased even more when veteran David Murphy, who was hitting .194 at Rochester, exercised his opt clause and became a free agent.