CLEVELAND – Eddie Rosario was one of the most emotional players to wear a Twins uniform in years, always motivated to do something heroic and basking in the chants of "Ed-die, Ed-die" when he did.
So Rocco Baldelli knew what to expect when the former left fielder took his place in the batter's box against his former team. How many home runs would Rosario like to hit?
"Eddie wants to hit — how many at-bats is he going to get? Knowing him, that's probably the way he's thinking about it," Baldelli joked. "One thing you know is, he's not going to lack for any confidence, and he's going to have high expectations for himself."
Rosario might not have lived up to any long-ball goals, but he did some damage, leading off the second inning with a single and doubling home a run in the sixth. Both hits came off close friend and fellow Puerto Rican Jose Berrios.
"The only one I was not looking forward to facing was Berrios," Rosario admitted.
The 2010 fourth-round pick was not offered a contract last November, the Twins deciding to make him a free agent rather than pay him an estimated $10 million in arbitration. It was a shock to the six-year veteran, whose 67 homers at Target Field trail only Brian Dozier's 80 for most in stadium history.
"I took it as a challenge. It was a little shocking, but this is a business and you have to treat it like that," the 29-year-old outfielder said. "The only sad part is seeing the feedback from the fans. They keep reaching out [on social media]. That's difficult, because you owe a lot to them."
Buxton forced to sit
Byron Buxton has quietly been battling a sore right knee all season, Baldelli said, but it wasn't quiet enough Monday. The center fielder was held out of the Twins lineup, and "we'll see what tomorrow holds."
The problem is tendinitis in his patella, Baldelli said, "something that he has dealt with since Opening Day." The recurring injury sometimes affects his ability to run, the manager said, and may even have contributed to the hamstring strain that kept him out of three games earlier this month.
Following the Twins' 5-3 loss, Baldelli said Buxton received about four hours of treatment. "So he was treated pretty much the whole day and we're going to continue to treat him tomorrow," he said. "And when we get to the ballpark, hopefully we'll have an update."
• Infielder Nick Gordon waited seven years for a call-up but will have to wait a little longer to actually play in a major league game. The Twins' 2013 first-round pick was sent back to the team's alternate site when shortstop Andrelton Simmons was activated from the COVID-19 list. Gordon did not get into a game over the weekend. The Twins kept veteran Tzu-Wei Lin on the roster, with Baldelli citing his ability to play the outfield, and Lin did enter Monday's game for Luis Arraez in left.
• Simmons is back, and the Twins could have Max Kepler and Kyle Garlick, who also tested positive for COVID, back by the weekend. The outfielders underwent electrocardiogram tests on their pulmonary systems, the final step, if no damage is found, before being cleared by MLB. Simmons said his symptoms included "a little headache, mostly a scratchy throat, and kind of feeling a little touch-and-go for a few days. I came through it pretty well."