Twins send top prospect Byron Buxton, batting .156, to minors

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins have sent center fielder Byron Buxton back to the minors after the organization's top prospect had another rough start at the plate.

Buxton and outfielder Max Kepler were optioned Monday to Triple-A Rochester before the Twins hosted Cleveland. To aid an ailing roster, utility man Danny Santana was reinstated from the disabled list and right-hander Alex Meyer was recalled from Rochester.

The 22-year-old Buxton is batting .156 with 24 strikeouts in 45 at-bats. He also struggled to hit in his 46-game debut last season. Santana, who missed 14 games with a strained right hamstring, can play center field. Left fielder Eddie Rosario can move over, too.

Meyer posted a 1.04 ERA with four walks and 19 strikeouts in 17 1/3 innings for the Triple-A club this month.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press is also reporting that veteran outfielder David Murphy has asked for his release from the Twins and gone home to his family in Dallas. Murphy, 34, had agreed to a minor league contract April 14.