CLEVELAND – Eddie Rosario entered the All-Star break confident that he would be ready to return to the lineup this weekend against the Indians. But the Twins have determined that he’s not quite all the way back from a sprained left ankle and could remain on the injured list until early next week.
Rosario did some running during Thursday’s optional workout at Progressive Field. There was no sign of him running the bases on Friday, which would be a clue that he’s close to returning.
“Just waiting for the team,” Rosario said. “Whenever they believe I’m ready to play, then I’ll go.”
While Rosario sounded like he was ready to activate himself, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said Rosario still has a couple of tests he needs to pass before he returns to the active roster.
“I’d love to say he looks perfect and ready to go,” Baldelli said. “I think that is what we are looking for, something close to that. I like the fact that he’s wants to be out there and that he is ready and he is getting a little antsy and any time he’s off the field for an extended period of time, he’s not happy about it.
“We want to make sure he’s ready to play in the second half when he comes back. And I think he’s getting very close. I wouldn’t think it is going to be very much longer but we are going to test him over the next couple of days here with some live game speed-type activity. “
If the Twins have concerns, they could hold Rosario out through the week and use the scheduled off day on Monday to ensure his fitness before they play host to the Mets on Tuesday in the first game of a two-game series.
Rosario, batting .282 with 20 home runs and 60 RBI, injured himself while rounding first base on June 26 during a game against the Tampa Bay Rays. It came during a run of injuries that nagged the Twins in the weeks leading up to the break.
De Jong released
The Twins have released righthander Chase De Jong from Class AAA Rochester. De Jong was dealt to the Twins by Seattle for lefthander Zach Duke last July 31. De Jong was 1-1 with a 3.57 ERA in four starts with the Twins last season but failed to make the team out of spring training and struggled at Class AAA Rochester, going 0-5 with a 9.73 ERA in 21 games. He made one appearance with the Twins this season, giving up four runs in the ninth inning of a 14-8 victory over the Mets on April 9.
The move created space for righthander Fernando Romero to be activated from the injured list.
One last pick signs
The Twins have signed 18th-round pick Edouard Julien, a second baseman from Auburn, for $493,000. That’s is significantly more than 18th-round picks usually sign for. The recommended value of last pick of the 10th round, for example, is $142,200. But the Twins feel that Julien, a switch hitter who, in 2018, broke Frank Thomas’ school record for RBI as a freshman with 69, is worth it.
Julien passed a physical recently, making the deal official. The Twins ended up signing 32 of their 42 picks from the June draft, including their first 17 selections.
• The Twins have assigned lefthander Andrew Vasquez to Class AA Pensacola. Vasquez recently was outrighted off the 40-man roster. He had a 6.00 ERA in 15 games at Rochester and gave up three runs without getting an out in his one game with the Twins, during a 9-6 loss to the Mets on April 10.
• The Twins also have signed former major leaguer Ivan DeJesus Jr. and assigned him to Class AA Pensacola. DeJesus, 32, has not played in the majors since 2016.