Danny Coulombe is not sure of the reason, but he's experiencing firsthand a frustrating trend in the Twins clubhouse.
"I don't know if it was the shortened spring training or the lost season two years ago, who knows?" Coulombe said. "The injury bug in baseball is a real thing right now."
Coulombe became the Twins' 13th addition to the injured list before Wednesday's game against the Astros at Target Field after the reliever left the mound Tuesday because of a left hip impingement.
He said he's been managing the injury since Opening Day — while establishing a 0.75 ERA in 12 innings — but seemed to tweak it in Tuesday's game. He received a cortisone injection and was optimistic recovery wouldn't take long, but he still joins the likes of shortstop Carlos Correa (bruised right middle finger), left fielder Trevor Larnach (groin) and first baseman Miguel Sano (knee), to name only a few.
With all the injuries, the Twins' lineups have featured many Class AAA call-ups, from Royce Lewis at shortstop to Jose Miranda at first base to Yennier Cano in the bullpen.
Cano, a native of Havana, will look to make his MLB debut after he signed with the Twins in 2019 as an international free agent. In nine games with St. Paul this year, the 28-year-old righthander has 14 strikeouts and has given up only one run in 12 innings.
He said he was about to hop in the shower when Saints manager Toby Gardenhire called him to give him the good news. Cano immediately called his wife to tell her he was going to the big leagues.
"I was waiting for this moment for a long time, and I was very nervous and excited," Cano said in Spanish through an interpreter. "I didn't know what to do in the moment, but I'm happy that I'm here."
To make room on the 40-man roster for Cano, reliever Jhon Romero moved to the 60-day IL after missing the past 17 games because of right biceps tendinitis.
Byron Buxton, at least, made his return to the lineup Wednesday, leading off and playing center field. He most recently played this past Saturday but left the game early because of a mild hip strain.
"Very exciting," Buxton said of his comeback. "Just dealing with some things right now, but it's part of the game, part of baseball. You've got to do what you've got to do to stay on the field but not push it too much. I've got teammates, got the coaches to guide me through that. So I'm ready to get back out there and continue doing what we're doing."
Before Tuesday's game, players, coaches, front office staff and other Twins employees convened on the concourse to pack food for Every Meal, a nonprofit that fights childhood food insecurity. The event culminated the Twins' Week of Service, believed to be the first such event in MLB, where all levels of the organization — from the Dominican Republic Baseball Academy up to the big-league team — participated in volunteer activities.
The MLB club was well represented Wednesday afternoon from President of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey to acting manager Jayce Tingler to starting pitcher Bailey Ober and his wife, Montana. In all, at least 21 players — and several of their spouses — pitched in to pack up 4,750 bags of food, good for about 16,000 meals for Minnesota children and their families.
Falvey and Tingler both said this event was fun not only because of the good it did, but also how it brought together the whole organization after being so disconnected in recent years with the pandemic.
"It's super impactful. It's meaningful," Tingler said. "It gives you an opportunity to work with different areas of departments that you don't usually do. And then to be able to make a difference and work with an organization that's making an impact, especially when it comes to meals that are provided to kids, [is great]."