OAKLAND, Calif. – The Twins got crushed earlier this month with a string of injuries and a COVID-19 outbreak all occurring right around the same time. Now, the reverse is happening, and it could not be more welcomed within the clubhouse.
On Monday, the Twins activated outfielder Kyle Garlick (calf) off the injured list and optioned Mark Contreras to Triple-A. On Tuesday, Dylan Bundy will come off the COVID-19 list to make his first start since he fell ill.
And most impactful of all, the Twins and their shortstop star Carlos Correa are hopeful that he may make a return within the next couple of days during their series in Oakland.
Correa has been out since getting hit with a pitch on his right middle finger on May 5 in Baltimore. While there was initially fear that the finger was broken, Correa avoided the worst. Still, he has a painful bone bruise that has made it hard to hit and even harder to throw.
“I’ve been hitting with a pad on my finger. (That) makes it pain free, ”Correa said. “And throwing is still a little uncomfortable. I’d say a lot when I try to throw hard. It’s tough trying to get the backhand all the way to first base, but I would say we’re pretty close. “
Being able to do that successfully, he said, will tell him that he’s ready to get back on the field and help the team.
Correa also tracked pitches when Devin Smeltzer threw pregame on Monday, trying to get his eyes adjusted to regain his timing at the plate. Correa had just started to heat up before the injury. Including that game, Correa has hit .412 with a 1,033 OPS and 14 hits in his last 14 games.
In an attempt to hasten the healing process, Correa said they’re trying “everything in the book,” from ice to massage and other treatment methods.
“It’s just a bad bone bruise in a spot where I use that finger to throw, I use that finger to hit, I use that finger for pretty much everything on the baseball field,” he said. “We’re trying to be smart about it. The last thing you want is to come off the IL and have to go back on it because you’re not ready. “
While Correa might be back this series, Baldelli said Trevor Larnach (groin) was a little bit further behind. While the outfielder has shown improvement and has started to participate in activities that he could not do right after the injury, Baldelli said he’s still bothered by the groin strain.
Pitcher Bailey Ober, who has also been sidelined by a groin strain, threw five innings in a rehab start with the Saints on Sunday. He struck out seven and gave up five runs (four earned).
Most importantly, he came out of that feeling good. Baldelli said they planned on lining him up for a start this upcoming weekend, though they have yet to pinpoint the exact day for that.
The Twins will need to make a 40-man move on Monday to reinstate Bundy, who does not take up a spot on the 40-man roster while out with COVID-19. … The Twins are likely to piggyback Bundy in his first game back. … Baldelli said the Twins will have an update soon on starting pitcher Chris Paddackwho is out with an elbow injury and has been transferred to the 60-day injured list.