Major League Baseball: No rush for Twins’ Cruz to return to lineup
MINNEAPOLIS — Minnesota Twins designated hitter Nelson Cruz spent Sunday icing his sore left wrist, and reported Monday that it was feeling much better. At the same time, it’s not known when the slugger will be able to swing his big bat in a game again.
Cruz and the Twins received good news Monday when a magnetic resonance imaging exam did not uncover any serious damage to his wrist, which he aggravated during a plate appearance Sunday against the Tigers. He was replaced by a pinch hitter in the seventh inning.
Mitch Garver was the DH Monday, which already was a scheduled day off for Cruz. He said he could try to swing a bat as soon as today, but will be smart about it.
“We’ve got a lot of games to go,” he said, “You don’t want to be dealing with it for a long time.”
Cruz is batting .270 with seven homers and 22 RBIs and has been the proven slugger the Twins sought when they signed him during the offseason. He has been the No. 3 hitter in the batting order whenever he has played, but C.J. Cron filled that spot Monday against the Angels.
“I think it’s a real good thing for everyone that the results that we got back were positive,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. “I think even just looking at Nellie, I think he was pretty pleased. Just looking at his face and the way he was talking about it, he was happy with the results, which means we are.”
Cruz has hit 50 home runs against the Angels, the most by any active player.
The official term used to describe Tyler Duffey’s call-up to the majors is that he was “recalled” by the Twins.
In this case, they weren’t kidding.
Duffey was added to the roster Saturday as the 26th player when the Twins played a doubleheader against Detroit, as Major League Baseball allows teams to carry an extra player for twin bills. He returned to Class AAA Rochester (N.Y.) after the second game but was called back Monday when the Twins decided to expand to 13 pitchers.
Duffey pitched the ninth inning in the second game Saturday, pounding the strike zone while reaching 96 mph on the radar gun. Duffey, 28, has yo-yoed between Rochester and the majors in 2015, 2016 and 2018, so he is hoping that better execution of his pitches will help him stick around.
“I’ve obviously thrown well in Rochester, and I’ve been working on the plan that we set up in spring,” Duffey said. “The results, obviously, in my last outing here, were very nice, so hopefully I keep throwing well.”
CAVE SENT DOWN AGAIN
Outfielder Jake Cave was sent back to Class AAA Rochester to make room for Duffey. Cave is batting .220 in 18 games, playing in four games since returning from the Red Wings on April 28 after getting sent down five days earlier.
“We want him to play,” Baldelli said. “We want him to get at-bats. We want him to get at-bats against some actually righthanded pitching, which we have not been able to do for him unfortunately.”
Marwin Gonzalez and Willians Astudillo can play the corner outfield spots if needed. And all three starting outfielders — Eddie Rosario, Byron Buxton and Max Kepler — can play center (in Buxton’s case, extremely well), so the Twins feel they are covered.
• Second baseman Jonathan Schoop did not start for a second consecutive day because of a sore left shoulder. Baldelli said Schoop was available off the bench.
• A handful of Twins and Angels players will appear today at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. When the Twins play the Angels next week in Anaheim, a group will visit Children’s Hospital of Orange County.