Josh Donaldson left Friday’s 4-1 victory over Cleveland after the second inning because of tightness in his right calf, but the Minnesota Twins didn’t feel the need to put their slugging third baseman on the injured list Saturday, Aug. 1.
Donaldson, 34, was not in the lineup for the third game of a four-game series against the Twins’ American Central Division rival, replaced by utility infielder Marwin Gonzalez.
“It’s something that he’s familiar with,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’re going to trust him as far as … he’s definitely dealt with things like this before. He definitely knows the difference between something major and something much more minor.”
Since 2017, Donaldson has been on the disabled list three times because of strains to each of his calf muscles. He missed a month in 2017 and wound up on the 60-day disabled list the following season.
Donaldson’s right calf tightened up Friday after he scored from second base on Eddie Rosario’s first-inning double. He played defense the next inning and made all three putouts from third base but was replaced by Ehire Adrianza for the rest of the game.
“We’re going to treat it today. We’re going to keep an eye on him in the training room getting his stuff done, and then we’re going to know a lot more in the next 24 to 48 hours and know when he can get back out there,” Baldelli said.
First things first
Miguel Sano was the Twins’ starting third baseman the past few seasons but did not replace Donaldson there on Saturday. He remained at first, where he was moved when Donaldson signed a free-agent deal in January, and will likely do so the rest of the season.
In fact, Baldelli said, second baseman Luis Arraez would play third before Sano does — and might if Donaldson takes some time to return.
“We’re going to let Miguel get comfortable with everything going on at first base, as opposed to splitting his attention in any way,” the manager said. “We want to make sure he continues to get his work in and he stays focused over there, which he has been. And as we’ve talked about, he’s been great over there.”
Sano started Saturday’s game in a 1-for-17 slump.
Littell out, Alcala in
Reliever Zack Littell was placed on the 10-day injured list, retroactive to Friday, because of a strained left hamstring. To take his place on the roster, and in the bullpen, the Twins recalled right-hander Jorge Alcala.
Littell had appeared in two of the Twins’ seven games and allowed four runs on six hits in three innings.
“Zack came out of his last outing with just a little bit of hamstring tightness. You could call it an injury. You could call it just a minor incident,” Baldelli said. “Really, what it comes down to is you probably don’t want to have to put a guy on the IL for something like this, but it probably would have been a couple of days before he would have seen game action again.
“So, does he need the full 10 days to feel better and be able to get out there on the mound? I don’t know. Probably not. But to have a spot in the bullpen where you’re not going to pitch a guy for a handful of days right now is also not a place where we really want to be.”
Starter Jake Odorizzi, yet to pitched because of back stiffness, threw a bullpen session on Saturday and is scheduled to face batters in the next few days. That could happen at CHS Field in St. Paul because, Baldelli said, having the veteran right-hander hit against major leaguers would expand the day for a lot of personnel on a game day at Target Field. “We’re trying to avoid those things in the days of COVID,” he said. “… We have those guys set up over there at CHS to do a lot and to handle it.”