Twins second baseman Luis Arraez is considered day-to-day because of right knee tendinitis after leaving an intrasquad game early Friday at Target Field.
Arraez reached on an error in the second inning, then took off for second on a wild pitch, pulling up as he neared the bag. He was replaced the next inning by Travis Blankenhorn.
“I would call it a fairly minor issue,” Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said. “We’re going to see how he is [Saturday]. There’s a chance you may see him out there tomorrow or there’s a chance we give him a couple of days to start feeling better and making sure he’s ready to go for Opening Day. I don’t have a ton to add on it.”
Arraez hit .334 and was one of the surprises of the 2019 season for the Twins. He did provide a scare when he appeared to severely injure his right ankle during a late September game in Kansas City but recovered in time to appear in the ALDS against the Yankees. The Twins don’t believe the injuries are related.
“On the play, he kept staying on his feet going into second base trying to really decelerate and stop on the bag,” Baldelli said. “I’m assuming that had something to do with it, yeah.”
Berrios gets the ball
It what was a foregone conclusion, Baldelli announced righthander Jose Berrios will start the season opener on July 24 against the White Sox in Chicago. He was also named the Opening Day starter on March 11 for the first season opener — March 26 at Oakland — but that Opening Day was wiped out by the pandemic.
This will be Berrios’ second consecutive Opening Day assignment. He was 14-8 with a 3.68 ERA last season and was named to the All-Star team for the second consecutive season.
Berrios is scheduled to start Saturday during an intrasquad game at Target Field. Lefthander Rich Hill will start for the other Twins side.
Twins add two
The Twins initially had 59 players in camp, but catcher Willians Astudillo has been placed on the coronavirus injured list as he continues to recover from COVID-19.
As was the case with Miguel Sano, Astudillo has to pass consecutive tests before he will be allowed to work out with the team.
Meanwhile the Twins have added players to their camp roster to bring the total to 60.
Catcher Caleb Hamilton replaces Astudillo. He batted .224 between Class AA Pensacola and Class AAA Rochester last season. The Twins also added Australian outfielder Aaron Whitefield, who batted .197 between Class A Fort Myers and Class AA Pensacola.
The Blue Team held off a late charging White Team 8-6 on Friday in the latest seven-inning intrasquad game at Target Field. Some highlights:
• Alex Kirilloff, who played first base, hit an opposite-field home run down the left field line off righthander Michael Pineda.
• Ehire Adrianza hit a bases-loaded single, scoring two.
• Brent Rooker homered off Homer Bailey.
• Jorge Polanco was 2-for-3 with a walk, three runs scored and a solo homer off Caleb Thielbar in the seventh. The White Team scored three runs off Thielbar in the seventh but the rally fell short.
• The next intrasquad scrimmage is scheduled for Saturday at 7:10 p.m. The Twins will work out Sunday and Monday, then hold a brief workout on Tuesday before heading for Chicago to play the Cubs in an exhibition game.
• The Twins will likely wait until the last minute on Friday to set their 30-man roster and three-man taxi squad. One concern is duplication. “You generally try to avoid having similar players where you have two and three and four players filling the same role,” Baldelli said. “More difficult to use your roster effectively.”
• The intrasquad games are fake games, but it should be noted that Josh Donaldson has batted second with Nelson Cruz following him. Baldelli said he will not be afraid to pair the two righthanded hitters during the regular season.