It didn’t look good Thursday when Oswaldo Arcia rolled his right ankle while being picked off between second and third base.
The Twins outfielder hobbled off the field and looked headed for the trainers room — for a few days. But he returned to the park Friday, ran in the outfield and felt better.
“It’s better than what we believed when he first went down out there,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said.
Arcia hit in the cage before Friday’s game against Houston, and Gardenhire said he was available off the bench. He pinch hit for Aaron Hicks in the eighth inning, flying out to center on the first pitch he saw with the tying run at second.
“I hope [Saturday],” Arcia said when asked about a return to the lineup.
Gardenhire didn’t rule out the possibility that Arcia could be the designated hitter Saturday.
The push to keep Arcia in the lineup is understandable. Arcia is coming off back-to-back games in which he has hit a home run and recorded four RBI. Since being called up from Class AAA Rochester on May 26, he is batting .348 with four doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI. The lefthanded hitter also is batting .313 off lefthanders.
The return of Arcia and Josh Willingham has given the Twins some thump in the middle of the batting order.
Outfielder Alex Presley, who played 28 games for the Twins last season, is now with the Astros. Presley was claimed off waivers by Houston during spring training, when the Twins cleared space on their 40-man roster to make room for a few players who had made the team, including Jason Bartlett.
The way things have gone for the Twins this season — they have used 13 outfielders, five in center — Presley would have gotten on the field quite a bit had the Twins been able to sneak him through waivers.
“Hicks was going to play center and we were looking for guys who could move around,” Gardenhire said. “Fortunately for [Presley], he got claimed. Had he made it through, he probably would have been back up here. We looked at him more as an extra outfielder-type guy.
“I’m happy he’s getting an opportunity.”
Presley entered Friday batting .243 with three home runs and nine RBI in 47 games.
The rainbow tour
The Twins have some interesting plans for next week’s trip to Toronto. They have decided to dress up in single colors.
That means the suit, shirt, tie, socks and shoes have to be the same color. The theme was decided on by a group of veterans on the team.
Some of the outfits have started to arrive in the clubhouse, and there’s an array of colors: pink, bright yellow, bright orange, lime green, purple and baby blue among them.
Some teams in recent years — Tampa Bay the most prominent — have come up with themes for clothing during road trips.
• Gardenhire considered starting Hicks in right and Danny Santana in center but decided against it because Hicks hasn’t played much in right. With Phil Hughes, a fly ball pitcher, starting, he went with Jason Kubel. “I would have no fear putting Hicks in right,” Gardenhire said. “He’s an athlete. I want people who are proven out there. Kubel can run the ball down. Kubel can play a decent outfield.”
• Gardenhire said he had to leave Santana in the lineup because he was swinging the bat well, including against lefthanders. Santana hit his first career homer off lefthander Tony Sipp in the seventh inning.