The Twins have had to place Danny Santana (twice) and Miguel Sano (once) on the disabled list because of hamstring injuries. Now they are worried about infielder Eduardo Escobar, who had to leave Saturday’s game after the second inning.
Escobar injured his left hamstring as he slid across home plate in the first inning. He returned to the field in the second but grimaced in pain moments after he made contact on a flyout in the bottom of the inning.
He’s considered day-to-day, but manager Paul Molitor said Escobar will be re-evaluated Sunday morning.
“I’m not sure what we are going to do with Escobar,” Molitor said.
Worth the risk?
Even Tommy John surgery didn’t stop the Twins from selecting Tyler Benninghoff in the 11th round last month in MLB’s first-year player draft.
Benninghoff, a righthander from Overland Park, Kan., had the elbow surgery last week and now will head to Fort Myers, Fla., in the coming days to begin his rehabilitation. Dr. James Andrews performed the surgery at his clinic in Pensacola, Fla.
The Twins believe that Benninghoff could have been selected as high as the second round if he had been healthy his senior year at Rockhurst High School, located in Kansas City, Mo. But he suffered a shoulder injury during football season, then came down with elbow problems during baseball season. He ended up with a torn ulnar collateral ligament.
“He’s a good prospect,” Twins scouting director Deron Johnson said. “He’s a starter who throws three pitches and has good sink. He was up to 94 miles an hour [with his fastball] last summer.”
The Twins medical staff looked at Bennighoff’s reports, and the scouting department felt confident that he had the right makeup to get through rehabilitation. He got paid a $600,000 bonus, which was enough for him to not enroll at Arkansas, where he had a scholarship offer. Bonuses for 11th-round picks usually are around $150,000.
“We were intrigued with the makeup, his athleticism and the arm action,” Johnson said. “And he had pitches. Why not take a gamble on something like that?”
Saturday was the first day teams could sign international prospects, provided that they are at least 16 years old.
According to Baseball America, the Twins signed three shortstops from the Dominican Republic: Wander Valdez for $495,000, Jesus Felix for $260,000 and Stamy Gabriel Urena for $130,000. The website also had the Twins signing Dominican outfielder Francisco Martinez for an undisclosed sum.
Twins General Manager Terry Ryan would not confirm the signings because physicals and paperwork have to be completed.
The Twins aren’t expected to make any splashy signings this year. They spent $4 million last year on Dominican shortstop Wander Javier. This year’s field is not as deep, and the top players are headed elsewhere.
• Byung Ho Park, who was sent to the minors on Friday, could have taken three days to report. But he went directly to Class AAA Rochester and was in the lineup Saturday night. “He got out of here and got to work,” Ryan said.
• Trevor May (back), at Rochester on a rehab assignment, pitched a scoreless inning on Friday and was scheduled to do the same on Saturday. Pitching in back-to-back games can be the final test before a reliever is activated from the disabled list. “He’s getting close,” Ryan said.