The first half of the Twins’ season was marked by injuries and roster shuffling, the club seemingly trotting out a different group of 26 players every couple of days.
The beginning of the second half of the season saw more of the same.
The Twins made a slew of roster moves affecting their pitching staff ahead of Saturday’s doubleheader in Detroit, calling up three players, transferring two to the 60-day injured list, placing one on the 10-day IL and one on the paternity list.
Charlie Barnes, the Twins’ fourth-round draft pick in 2017, was added to the roster as the 27th man for the doubleheader and started Saturday’s first game, giving up just a run in 4 2/3 innings pitched in the 1-0 loss.
Barnes wasn’t the only new face in the clubhouse. The Twins also called up Beau Burrows, whom they claimed off waivers from the Tigers last month, and selected the contract of Juan Minaya once again.
Burrows threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings against the Tigers in Game 1 of the doubleheader.
Burrows and Minaya have replaced Derek Law and Danny Coulombe on the roster for the time being. Law was diagnosed with a right shoulder impingement, and manager Rocco Baldelli said an MRI did not show anything out of the ordinary other than “pretty reasonable tendinitis.”
Law, who is now on his second stint with the Twins this season after being designated for assignment earlier in the year, has a 4.20 earned-run average in nine games.
Coulombe will be back much sooner after welcoming a son with his wife over the all-star break.
The Twins are expecting the reliever back from Texas for their series with the White Sox, which begins on Monday in Chicago.
Two to 60-day
To make room on the 40-man roster for the new additions, the Twins transferred both Randy Dobnak and Devin Smeltzer to the 60-day injured list, a move that means Dobnak will miss at least another month.
Dobnak has been on the injured list since June 24, and while Baldelli said they didn’t necessarily anticipate Dobnak would miss that much time when he was initially diagnosed with a middle finger strain, it quickly became apparent it would take a while to heal after the Twins gave him some time off and then tried having him throw.
“It didn’t go terribly but it definitely didn’t go at the best end of the spectrum so we knew that this was going to be a little while and we also knew that the 60-day could be a real option,” Baldelli said.
Smeltzer already has missed two months, placed on the injured list initially on May 12 with left elbow inflammation. He has been dealing with an issue in his back/neck that set him back, and the Twins anticipate him being out for awhile longer.
In addition to Dobnak and Smeltzer’s lengthy absences, Lewis Thorpe has been on the Triple-A injured list since early June. All three were expected to provide innings for the Twins, and their injuries have forced the team to look down different avenues, opening up opportunities for others, like Barnes.
“Those were guys that we fully planned on leaning on in a lot of different ways, starting, giving us a lot of good, quality innings. But what it allows us to do is to let them get healthy and also learn about some other guys and see what some of our other arms are capable of and what they’re bringing to the table,” Baldelli said. “So there’s always something that we can look to and something to be gained even when dealing with challenging situations.”