DETROIT – Jake Odorizzi held up his phone to the Zoom camera as he issued his challenge. He displayed a photo of the abdominal bruise he received from an Alex Gordon line drive, a dark, black, purple circle that looked like … he was kicked by a horse? Like the worst tattoo-ink mishap ever? Like he lost a hammer fight?
“I’d like to see your journalistic powers describe that for all your readers,” Odorizzi dared. “But it’s no joke. It got me pretty solidly and there was cartilage bruising, there was abdominal bruising, bone bruises. So it’s not exactly the most comfortable thing to deal with in this time.”
He tried to throw earlier in the week, but discovered the pain had made it impossible to throw normally, “so we just shut it down. It’s not worth changing arm angles and that sort of thing.”
Odorizzi sounded hurt that some fans may have doubted the severity of his injury. “I wanted to show you what it actually was. You always hear, ‘bruising this, bruising that,’ ” the righthander said, but it felt for several days like he had a baseball under his skin. “I wasn’t faking it.”
He’s ready to start working toward a return, though. He will throw a bullpen session when the Twins return to Target Field on Monday, “just getting everything back in order because I had a week off from throwing. So I’ve got to get back into throwing shape and get ready to go again.”
It’s too early to say when that will happen, but Odorizzi is at least grateful that when he returns, he won’t have to face the Royals. He’s made three starts this season, all against Kansas City. That might have had something to do with his injury, Odorizzi theorizes.
“The third time around seeing a team, there’s no secrets. Hitters have a better approach, they have a better mind-set, they’re more comfortable,” he said. “And maybe that’s why I got hit. You know, there are guys that are more focused on a different approach, ‘OK, I’ve just got to stay up the middle as opposed to pull,’ because he knows what he’s looking for.”
Josh Donaldson could return to the Twins lineup during the upcoming weeklong homestand, manager Rocco Baldelli said, but he’s run into an unusual problem in his rehab: Not enough practice playing time.
“We don’t have enough bodies [at their reserve camp in St. Paul] to play nine-inning games,” Baldelli said. Donaldson’s calf is pain-free, but the Twins want him to prepare to play nine innings at third base, and that hasn’t been easy. “He’s getting plenty of at-bats, but we need him to build up in the field, too. We need to make sure he can handle it physically. … So we have to get creative.”
Donaldson hasn’t played since straining his right calf on July 31.
Victor Reyes went 4-for-4 in Saturday’s first game, and hitless in the second. But his Game 2 contribution might have been more important.
With the score tied 2-2, Miguel Sano hit a Tarik Skubal pitch more than 400 feet toward the Tigers bullpen. Just as it cleared the center field fence, Reyes leaped, reached over, and caught it.
He surprised even himself.
“It was a windy day, but I never thought that was going to be a home run,” Reyes said. “Sano, he’s very strong. I saw the wall and thought I might be able to jump. I was able to catch it — pretty good feeling.”
Jake Cave knows the feeling, too. Reyes’ catch ended the top of the fourth, and Detroit’s first batter in the bottom of the inning, Cameron Maybin, hit a ball even farther and toward straightaway center — but Cave made it back-to-back robberies by plucking it out of the air.
Friday’s rained-out doubleheader, half of which will be made up next week at Target Field, means Michael Pineda must spend one more day on the suspended list.
The righthander’s 60-game suspension for failing a drug test was to run out after 36 games this season — or on Sunday, under the original schedule. But now the Twins’ 36th game is Monday, so Pineda can rejoin the team on Tuesday.
Baldelli said the extra day would affect their plans for Pineda, and they should know Sunday when he will make his 2020 debut.
Friday’s rainout, by the way, was simply the product of the unpredictability of weather, Baldelli said. The Twins and Tigers agreed that the forecast looked grim, and called off their games around 2 p.m. Almost immediately, the rain stopped and the afternoon was sunny.
“We had to make a decision. It seemed like all the forecasts kind of missed the fact that it was going to break up,” Baldelli said. “Sometimes, there’s no way to really know what’s coming.”
Eddie Rosario left Game 2 with a sore ankle, Baldelli said, but the Twins aren’t certain yet how serious it is.