OAKLAND, Calif. -- Infielder JT Riddle has joined four teammates on the Twins’ COVID injured list, the team announced Wednesday morning, April 21.

Riddle, who is hitting .333 (2 for 6) with one run scored in six games, has not tested positive for COVID-19, manager Rocco Beldelli said, but has been placed on the list after contact tracing — although it’s unclear if it’s contact with a teammate or Twins staff member.

“There are a lot of different COVID protocols; JT falls within one of them and will not be here with us today,” Baldelli said before Wednesday’s first pitch in Oakland.

Since last week, shortstop Andrelton Simmons, and outfielders Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick have tested positive for COVID-19. Relief pitcher Caleb Thielbar was placed on the COVID list Tuesday after contact tracing.

Asked if Riddle’s case is related to those of his teammates, Baldelli said, “I would say it’s separate, but I can’t dive into specifics of the case without talking to the player about whether that’s OK.”

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To replace Riddle on the 26-man roster, the Twins selected the contract of catcher Tomás Telis from the taxi squad working traveling with the big-league team. He has appeared in 122 career major league games, hitting .230 with eight doubles, three triples, one home run and 24 RBIs over parts of five seasons with Texas and Miami.

The Twins returned from a three-game pause Tuesday with a doubleheader in Oakland, losing both games without scoring a run. They have lost three straight and seven of their past eight games going into Wednesday’s game.

“You know, we haven’t been playing well, but we’ve also lost a ton of very close ballgames, that I would, honestly, I would bet on us winning a lot of those games,” Baldelli said. “If we’re playing those games all year long, I bet we’re going to win a ton of those games. And it doesn’t feel like we have won many of them so far this year.”

Sano sits

First baseman Miguel Sano, pulled from Game 1 of Tuesday’s doubleheader because of hamstring discomfort, was not in the starting lineup on Wednesday.

“Miguel is certainly dealing with something,” Baldelli said. “We’re talking about a guy who does not complain. We’re talking about a guy that plays through a lot of different things, as much as anybody could possibly play through. So, when he mentions that he’s unsure if he can go, and (that) he’s having trouble moving, I get a little concerned at that point that it’s more than just a very minor strain.”

Minnesota first baseman Miguel Sano (22) flips his bat after striking out during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 5, 2021. Raj Mehta / USA TODAY Sports
Minnesota first baseman Miguel Sano (22) flips his bat after striking out during the third inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on April 5, 2021. Raj Mehta / USA TODAY Sports

Sano is hitting .111 through 15 games, with two home runs, six runs scored, four RBIs, 13 walks and 20 strikeouts. He has two hits during the Twins’ 1-8 skid.

Baldelli said Sano was walking on Wednesday morning, and that the injury doesn’t seem to have happened at a specific time.

“We’re going to learn more and see what he’s capable of,” Baldelli said. “There’s a chance he’s down today, so we can regroup and reassess him.”

Briefly

Baldelli said the team was making arrangements to send the COVID list players back to Minnesota for quarantine on Wednesday. Kepler, Garlick and Thielbar were left in Anaheim instead of joining the team in Oakland.