Twins first base coach Tommy Watkins has tested positive for COVID-19, and the team's major league field coordinator, Kevin Morgan, will coach in Watkins' place until he returns.
Watkins left Monday's 5-4, 10th-inning victory over Cleveland in the third inning because of what the team then termed an illness. Morgan replaced him and was back at first base for Tuesday's second game of a three-game series.
Watkins was vaccinated earlier this year, a team spokesperson said.
Hitting coach Edgar Varela went home to Florida last week to care for family members who had the virus. He tested positive as well while there — not while he was with the team — and that delayed his return.
Watkins, 41, is in his fourth season coaching at first base.
With both coaches out, Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said he doesn't plan on adding any other coaches for now and will have current staff members handle the two men's duties. He said head athletic trainer Michael Salazar "is working through everything that is going on right now."
"We have to stay very aware, very careful and pay attention to everything going on around us," Baldelli said. "We're going to be as smart as we can."
Two places at once
Twins rookie outfielder Brent Rooker batted second in the lineup again and already had homered for the team's Class AAA club in St. Paul before he ever stepped to the plate in Minneapolis on Tuesday. Huh?
Rooker homered for the Saints in a June 20 game that was suspended after four innings at CHS Field. That game with the Iowa Cubs was resumed before Tuesday's game.
The Saints rallied with three runs in the ninth for a 6-5 victory. The stats became official after the game and that put Rooker's home run total with the Saints at 20.
Sent to St. Paul on Sunday, outfielder Trevor Larnach replaced Rooker as DH for the suspended game's conclusion. The boxscores of June 20 will show Larnach played in Class AAA that day and also had three hits in a Twins' 4-2 win at Texas.
Byron Buxton was back at Target Field working out Tuesday after he had attended to a family matter.
Baldelli said Buxton and staff will meet to determine his next week on the way back from a finger fractured in June. Baldelli said a decision on Buxton was delayed while the team dealt with their other medical issues.
Keeping Gordon busy
The Twins recalled Nick Gordon on Tuesday, looking to put his versatility to work. He was a pinch runner in the eighth inning that night, played two innings at second base and had a 10th-inning hit that set up a 5-4 walk-off victory.
"It's going to look like that sometimes," Baldelli said. "[Gordon is] going to have his days where he starts and maybe even has a run where he's out there on a regular basis. This is a team and when you look around at how everybody fits in a particular game, it's going to look different every day for him. When you have the versatility he has, it leaves you with different ways to maximize his value to help you win a game."
Dobnak to test finger
On the injured list since June because of a right middle finger strain, righthander Randy Dobnak has gone to Fort Myers, Fla., to get as many as 50 pitches in a rehab game, Baldelli said.
"We're going to get him down there," Baldelli said. "His finger has been feeling very good. Talked to him about that the other day. He says it feels normal and that's exactly what we're looking for."
Sports columnist Patrick Reusse contributed to this report.