Injuries big issue for Twins
At one point during Sunday’s series finale against the Indians — the Twins’ final meeting in their home park this season against the three-time defending AL Central champions they are trying to unseat — Rocco Baldelli’s team featured two infielders playing out of their normal positions; the third-string catcher behind the plate; a pitcher who started the season in Class A; and two outfielders who didn’t yet have a major league hit.
This probably isn’t the way the rookie manager envisioned his first stretch drive to look.
For the Twins, the dinged-up outnumber the injury-free at this point:
DH Nelson Cruz is playing despite a ruptured tendon in his left wrist, and missed the last two games when it became sore once more. He has spent two stints on the injured list because of the wrist.
Outfielder Max Kepler has been playing despite a “knot” in his left scapula, which forced him out of two games in the last week.
Eddie Rosario endured a sore left shoulder and elbow on the Twins’ most recent road trip. The outfielder has stayed in the lineup — though he’s hitting .161 with one extrabase hit in September.
Miguel Sano has a sore back that prevented him from playing Sunday.
Sam Dyson? Sore biceps. Marwin Gonzalez? Stiff oblique. C.J. Cron? Bothersome right thumb. Jake Cave, Kyle Gibson and Mitch Garver? A variety of conditions that they’re fighting to overcome.
And the season is over for outfielder Byron Buxton, who was set to undergo surgery on his injured left shoulder.
Manager Rocco Baldelli, right, has the Twins atop the AL Central despite key injuries.