I hope you are all relaxed and refreshed from a long weekend, and I hope you took a minute to think about the things to remember on Memorial Day. My family and I had a rare weekend of youth baseball and softball tournaments, so naturally we headed to Target Field on Friday night. (And holy buckets, what a glorious night for baseball. So much better than the last time I was there…) And May was good for the twins, right? During the time I’m writing this (just before the second half of the double header between the Tigers and Twins), the twins went 18-11 in May (with match two still today). As of now, the Twins are 4.5 games ahead of the White Sox for #1 at AL Central. They somehow manage to play this well despite the hits that come one after the other for the twins’ rapidly dwindling list.
Over the past week or so, I feel like every day we’ve heard about at least one player getting injured or not in the squad while they’ve had an injury. Fortunately, not everyone who was hurt went to IL, but their absences are certainly notable while they are out. And I was thinking back to last season and how they couldn’t get their footing back after a bunch of guys came out with COVID and injuries and I started to worry that this could start the same kind of slide. The twins were lucky to be able to overcome the loss of a man here or there, overcoming their rivals in the division.
But June? June’s schedule will be much stricter than it was in May, and this lack of slate depth will start to hurt. A pile of sick and injured (yet unnamed) players who won’t be able to travel to Toronto to face the Blue Jays are piling up. Don’t let their 3rd position in AL East fool you, the Jays are a really good team with a win ratio of 0.573 and some really hungry young players (along with our old friend Jose Berrios).
Here we are, a few guys, thanks to some injury (or COVID) and now also unable to bring our full squad to Toronto due to some unvaccinated players not receiving (choice, ok. But it’s still bad). A conspiracy theorist part of me wonders if some “ache” hits might be a way to cover unvaccinated players so they don’t get hated for not going to Canada, but I could. Anyway, we keep losing players and have a little bit of depth in certain places (the playing field, the field, the pitch, start throwing..wait..that’s everywhere) when just a couple of weeks ago we were embarrassed by the riches in some positions.
Remember way back to May 18 when the twins Royce sent Louis to St Paul and we were all hoping to find a way to keep him And the Korea on the list at the same time? Well, we were in for a bit of fun when Audra Martin tweeted this Sunday:
The lineup hasn’t been released but Royce Lewis is here at The Twins Club.
– Audra Martin (@Audra_Martin) May 29 2022
Oooh, fun! Royce in centfi…oh my god didn’t you think he might hurt at once. To make matters worse, the short-form regular full-time player Carlos Correa tested positive mid-match yesterday for Rona. With Lewis out, the twins had to call <تدقيق الملاحظات> Germaine Palacios of Saint Paul. Well, this is what happens. As of today, the Twins have a cab squad consisting of Alex Kiriloff, Mark Contreras and Yennier Cano (joining the Palacios) who are ready, willing and able to jump as needed to cover all these gaps in the lineup.
A couple of weeks ago our boy John, aka Imakesandwichesforaliving gave us a nice little summary of all the injuries that plagued twins at the time. There are still a few of these people out there, but now we’re adding a few more to the list. Without further ado, here’s a list of people who are currently in:
- SS Carlos Correa (return to be determined)
- by Gilberto Celestino (return to be determined)
- SP Joe Ryan (return to be determined)
- Unnamed players will be out Friday-Sunday.
Day 10 and Day 15:
- SS Royce Lewis (contusion of the right knee bone, return of TBD). We literally just got back up. Ugh.
- RHB Josh Winder (Right shoulder impingement, expected return: week of June 6)
- LHP Danny Colombia (left hip impingement, TBD return). We hardly brought it back then bam! Return to the menu the next day.
- RHP Cody Stashak (Right shoulder impingement, TBD return). Further decimation of the bulls is a sore shoulder for Stashak. He’s been out since his last appearance on May 21.
60 days IL:
- RHP Jorge Alcalá (Right elbow inflammation, expected to return mid-June). What started as a trip to the 10-day list in April, the Alcala facility was clearly needed more than a week or two and moved to the 60-day injured list.
- RHB Randy Dubnak (Right finger strain, expected return in June). I often strain my right middle finger too, but I don’t have to throw a baseball at 95 mph to make a living. He has yet to play this season with this injury back to last season. The twins hope to resolve themselves soon.
- 1 b Miguel Sano (The meniscus of the left knee, expected to return in July.) I already said my article about Sano, as well as Zack. The probability that we will first see Sano dressed up as the Twins is similar to the possibility that Justin Morneau’s twins were taken out of retirement and brought back in the beginning.
- RHP John Romero (Right biceps tendinitis, expected yield TBD). Romero made it to the 15-day roster in April, making it to the 60-day roster to make way for Yennier Cano. He will probably come back sooner rather than later if we keep losing players at this pace.
- RHP Kenta Maeda (Tommy John’s Surgery, Expected Return: TBD But Early September!). Tommy John used to have a recovery period of at least 18 months, but due to some great new internal bracing as part of the surgery, he may be back in less than half the normal recovery time. Most promising is that Maeda threw 25 times from 105 feet on May 23 and is advancing toward the throw from 120 feet in the next step of his plan. Imagine if we put him back in time to be able to make up the playoff list? That would be amazing. Except we have to do the playoffs first..and with so many injuries……shhh. Don’t think about it yet.
- RHB Chris Badack (Tommy John’s surgery, out for this season). He just started making me not mad at losing Taylor Rogers to him and then *womp womp*, he needed TJ’s second surgery.
Not officially on any list but nursing injuries:
- from Max Kepler Quad injury? pain? This kept him away on Sunday, but he played yesterday in DH.
- SB Sony Gray (Returned later) As of the time I’m writing this it’s on my daily to-do list but it looks like a trip to IL is coming.
Sonny Gray (my chest) woke up still in pain and Rocco Baldele said he thought it might lead to the placement of IL.
“I usually don’t speculate or even say much about it, but I think it still feels like, we probably tend to go down that path.”
– Betsyhelfand (@betsyhelfand) May 30 2022
- 2B Jorge Polanco Right ankle soreness kept him going a few days last week, and please, please, don’t let it flare up.
- Byron Buxton He’s officially unharmed at the moment, but between his hip and knee, the twins have been very protective of their investment and wouldn’t hesitate to pull him out of the squad if he wears his toe.
- 1B Alex Kirillov (Right wrist, currently still official at St. Paul but in the taxi squad to join the Major League team in Toronto)
Do you think the skeleton crew we’ll have on the field for the next week or two (or more) will be able to maintain their number one position at AL Central? Will more players fall into COVID? Could the average beginner handle the June schedule and stay on top? I think we’ll find out soon enough.
Stay healthy and be great with each other, my friends.